Weed resistance causes land values to take a hit

Published on: 13:53PM Feb 04, 2011

Chuck Foresman

The results of a benchmark study commissioned by Syngenta in August of 2010 validate the assumptions of many in the industry that the impact of resistance on land values has increased in recent years. During the study, 200 farm managers, rural appraisers and crop consultants across the Midwest and South were asked a series of questions regarding the impact of resistance on land values, land rental values and tenants selection. The results of the study were compared to the results of a 2006 study to evaluate the change in impact.

  • The total estimated or perceived cost of managing specific glyphosate-resistant weeds has increased from $8.00 in 2006 to $16.90 in 2010*.  
  • According to 2010 survey results, the yield loss associated with glyphosate-resistant weeds is estimated at 5.5 percent*.
  • The perceived impact of weed control practices on rental and appraisal values has increased from 5 percent in 2006 to 22 percent in 2010*.

In other words, it seems that landowners have become more aware of and more interested in the weed control practices used on their land.

The impact of resistance was brought to life in a conversation with an eastern North Carolina farmer last fall when he shared his thoughts on the topic.

“I still have pride in keeping my crop clean and landowners recognize that,” said Chris Stancill of Ayden, N.C. “I’ll give you a perfect example. I had a 15 acre field that I tended this past season that had fields on both sides of it with cotton acres eaten up with pigweed, but the 15 acres of cotton right there in the middle that I tended was clean. That landowner said ‘You put something on those pigweeds this year.’ He noticed it and it made a difference to him. And so this year when I go to rent that farm, my neighbor might offer him $10 per acre more in rent, but he knows I spent the money to keep that farm clean. And he’ll be satisfied and stay with me. So you get a benefit on that end if you have a landowner that knows what you’re doing and realizes that controlling the weeds will help him preserve the value of his land.”

* Source: Land Value Evaluation, Directions Research, August 2010

Syngenta Manager of Weed Resistance Strategies Chuck Foresman is an expert in weed resistance, having worked extensively with many universities and research associates around the globe on the subject. He holds a bachelor's degree in agronomy from Western Illinois University along with a master's degree in agronomy from the University of Wisconsin.