Only three years before Iowa waterhemp disaster
Nosworthy provided data explaining research showing the success of 15-inch soybean planting canopying earlier than 30-inch rows and the potential for higher seed populations helping keep weeds from emerging following a pre-emergence herbicide application.
He further noted, “Using a herbicide that is 95 percent effective will be a failure.” Growers cannot allow resistant weeds to spread their seed. “We have got to get weeds out of fields before they go to seed.”
In general, he said Arkansas is a disaster in terms of Palmer amaranth that is glyphosate resistant, and Iowa is two to three years behind Arkansas with waterhemp being the pigweed-family glyphosate-resistant weed that will take over fields.
He said if growers aren’t proactive and take recommended steps to preserve glyphosate efficacy, “In three to four years, you’ll have growers who are going to completely lose a crop.”
In summary, he recommends growers look at planting in narrow rows and higher seed populations, making sure to reduce the weed seed bank by keeping weeds from going to seed and definitely using residual herbicides in a weed control program.
Private Arkansas research consultant and former University of Arkansas weed scientist Ford Baldwin said in Arkansas “we have basically driven the world’s greatest herbicide off the cliff.” He was the most pessimistic speaker about the Arkansas situation by saying, “It is too late to get the glyphosate technology back.”
Baldwin and all the speakers said midwestern farmers have a chance to save the technology, but they have to react immediately for the 2012 planting season with five-year planning for crop rotation and herbicide rotation. Bayer has been licensing a seed trait, Liberty Link, allowing over the top Ignite herbicide use.