At the end of October, I had the great pleasure of hosting the NAICC executive board in my hometown of Plainview, Texas. After we completed our important board work, I took the group on a farm tour focusing on the cotton industry and the problems it encounters. I believe one of the great benefits to being involved in any national organization is to hear the perspective of members from across the country and understand the problems that they face. I often realize how much we all have in common despite the diverse crops we all represent.
One of the topics we focused on during the farm tour was weed resistance and how growers in West Texas are dealing with that issue. With limited herbicide options in a crop, such as cotton, weed resistance will have a significant impact on the Texas industry. Cotton acres may shift to other crops as a way of rotating herbicide chemistries to combat resistance. Farmers will have to rely more on pre-emergent herbicides to provide residual control of problem weeds such as pigweeds. Furthermore, hand weeding of glyphosate-resistant pigweeds has become all too common of a practice. Currently, farmers are looking ahead to next year and are beginning to purchase hooded sprayers to allow for post-directed applications of herbicides.
As growers begin to implement these resistance management strategies, the cost of weed control increases greatly and the profitability of a crop is greatly reduced and other cropping options are then considered. There is no doubt that weed resistance is having a significant impact, not only on the cotton industry in West Texas but the cotton industry as a whole.
In April, I outlined several ways to develop effective resistance management through teamwork throughout our industry. It takes everyone in agriculture coming together and addressing the problems with resistance and then developing solutions that everyone can understand and implement as an effective resistance management plan. Communication becomes key so that everyone can work together to ensure good resistance plans are followed.
This year, NAICC is offering an opportunity for our industry to sit down and have an open discussion about the obstacles that exist to resistance management. On Jan. 29, 2014, just prior to the NAICC annual meeting in New Orleans, NAICC in partnership with the International Certified Crop Advisors and the Weed Science Society of America will host this workshop. The idea is to allow short presentations, with open roundtable discussions by consultants and crop advisers, to help break down the barriers to resistance management.
Topics of the workshop are to include implementation of viable resistance management strategies in crop production programs, education and information resources and regulatory options.
The goal is to bring together key people from across the agriculture industry and allow consultants and crop advisors to bring forward the problems they face in resistance management and then develop solutions. Although the term resistance management may be an all too familiar term, this workshop offers a unique opportunity for our industry to discuss solutions to the problems faced in resistance management. I encourage everyone interested in becoming a part of the solution to resistance to come and attend this unique workshop and give their perspective on resistance management. Please visit the NAICC website for more information on this workshop.