More than 80 percent of U.S. farmers said they believe the glyphosate-tolerant crop system will lose effectiveness by the year 2022, according to an annual, independent research study. This statistic reflects a 10 percent increase in farmer concern in just two years and reflects growing support for new weed control solutions to enhance the glyphosate system.
The quantitative online survey was conducted in early 2012 and reached more than 400 corn, cotton and soybean farmers from across the Midwest and South. The survey provides on-farm insights into the benefits of the glyphosate-tolerant cropping system and the risks associated with losing the herbicide-tolerant technology.
“Sixty percent of farmers reported they have seen a decrease in the effectiveness of the glyphosate system–compared to 45 percent just 24 months ago,” said Damon Palmer, Dow AgroSciences U.S. commercial leader for the Enlist Weed Control System.
According to the survey, a majority of farmers are fearful of resistant and hard-to-control weeds in their fields. In fact, 80 percent of farmers surveyed are concerned with resistant weeds, and more than two-thirds are concerned with hard-to-control weeds.
Almost 40 percent of farmers rank the ability to conserve moisture in the soil, through reduced tillage and soil erosion, as one of the most important benefits of the glyphosate-tolerant system, compared to only 15 percent reported in 2010.
“The glyphosate system allows us to manage weeds on many acres at a low cost and high rate of efficiency; it enables us to farm more ground,” said Tim Richter, an Iowa farmer. “But, if weeds continue to become more difficult to control and weed resistance spreads to our farm, I don’t want agriculture to take a step backwards.”
Richter seeks new technology, and so do other farmers across the leading corn- and soybean-producing states. In fact, the survey indicates 95 percent of growers are looking for new technology to build upon and improve the glyphosate system, and 96 percent similarly believe the long-term viability of glyphosate-tolerant crops is important to sustain the many benefits of the technology.
Dow AgroSciences Technology
Dow AgroSciences is developing the Enlist Weed Control System, a new herbicide-tolerant trait system to move farming forward at a critical time in agriculture. Enlist advances the farmer-preferred glyphosate-tolerant cropping systems with a solution that is both modern and sustainable, the company contends.
The Enlist system will provide robust tolerance to Enlist Duo herbicide, a proprietary blend of glyphosate and new, innovative 2,4-D choline being brought forward by the company. Enlist Duo will also include a technology package called Colex-D Technology that will provide ultra-low volatility, minimized potential for physical drift, decreased odor and improved handling characteristics.
Pending regulatory approvals, the Enlist Weed Control System will be available in corn for the 2013 crop year, followed by soybeans in 2015 and cotton in 2016.
Palmer said, “The Enlist system will address the concerns expressed by more than 85 percent of growers related to increasing weed pressures.”