Even though herbicide resistance costs U.S. farmers $2 billion annually, startlingly few producers worry about—or even realize—how resistance threatens their livelihood. Not only does resistance cut into profitability by increasing weed control costs, the rapidly growing problem endangers our ability to produce top yields.
Nearly every state has resistant weeds, and many of the most productive states have the highest number of resistant weeds. Once a weed is resistant to a herbicide, there is no turning back. The effectiveness of the product is lost forever.
The rapid march of resistance combined with the difficulty of developing new modes of action and making them commercially available make this an epic uphill battle—and one you won’t be able to ignore.
The best way to win the fight is to be vigilant, start early and diversify your herbicide program. Painful as it may seem, invest the time getting smart on the risks and the solutions.
You can start by reading “Weed Resistance is Your Problem” by Sonja Begemann. Beyond Sonja’s story, check out the practical resources provided through the Take Action partnership led by the United Soybean Board. The industry-wide partnership includes university weed scientists, key herbicide companies and the commodity organizations for corn, cotton, wheat, sorghum and soybeans.
Visit www.TakeActionOnWeeds.com for information on herbicide resistance and to actively join the fight against the game-changing threat. A fun way to start is to take the 10-question Take Action quiz.
Lastly, if you have success stories, horror stories or suggestions for future Farm Journal coverage of the issue, email firstname.lastname@example.org.