A growing problem that is costing farmers more money each year is herbicide resistant weeds.

A growing problem that is costing farmers more money each year is herbicide resistant weeds. The primary driver for resistant weeds comes from the repeated use of the same herbicide with the same mode of action year after year.

What can be done? Scouting for herbicide resistant weeds throughout the growing season and even when harvest time comes around can be very beneficial. The earlier the detection, the more time there is allotted to eliminate the plant or patch by mowing, hand removal, and/or herbicide application before the plant(s) produces seed. Scouting for these weeds and defining where and who the “escapes” are can help determine what formulation of herbicide to use or what could be used next season. If seed from an herbicide resistant weed is allowed to be produced, the potential for resistance is greater the next generation. Roger Becker, a weed scientist at the University of Minnesota informs landowners that, “it is a much easier task to control resistant weeds early on in the invasion process before the seed bank has a chance to buildup, creating the potential for a high population expressing in subsequent crops, and ensure several years of effort to manage the problem due to seed dormancy.” He also mentions that, “managers should rotate different modes of action for the herbicides that they use. Additionally, use of soil applied herbicides that have residual activity coupled with post emergence herbicide options with different modes of action will help delay the development of herbicide resistance.”

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