Growers say they are taking all the necessary actions to prevent weed resistance, but do not have the same optimism about their neighbors' efforts, according to a recent survey of 2011 Commodity Classic attendees. Sponsored by DuPont Crop Protection, the survey polled 150 thought leader growers during the conference in early March.
More than 70 percent of growers surveyed reported they are doing everything they can to control weed resistance on their own operations. In sharp contrast, only 36 percent of respondents felt other growers in their areas were doing all that they could to prevent weed resistance.
Tackling Weed Resistance
Signaling the level of concern growers have about herbicide-resistant weeds, 64 percent of respondents said preventing weed resistance is a top priority for their operations in 2011.
"More growers are seeing the increasing number of resistant weeds popping up across the country, and they want to protect the profitability and sustainability of their operations," said Helen Flanigan, technical field manager, DuPont Crop Protection. "While there are many factors in managing resistance, responsible herbicide use is critical if growers are going to have the weed-control options they need to increase yields sustainably."
The Role of Residuals
And they aren't done taking action to battle resistance: 63 percent said they plan to adjust their crop protection practices in 2011 to better manage weed resistance issues. For more than 70 percent of respondents, their management plans include using residual herbicides in their crop protection program.
According to Flanigan, that is a proven step in the right direction. "Using residual herbicides can successfully reduce weed pressure, which helps control weed populations and weed seed production. And residual herbicides with multiple modes of action helps growers keep weeds at bay into the growing season, not just a few days. A rapidly growing, vigorous crop is a great offense in the fight against weeds."
Preemergence or Postemergence
Flanigan also emphasized the importance of early-season weed control to help manage resistance. She advises growers to control weeds prior to planting with a preemergence residual herbicide or tillage.
"Starting with a clean seed bed is crucial to the start of a crop protection program. Early-season weed control means the crop won't be forced to compete for needed moisture and nutrients during the critical period before crop canopy, which can lead to a significant reduction in yield. Growers can use DuPont Prequel preemergence herbicide or DuPont Realm Q postemergence herbicide for corn and DuPont Enlite or Envive preemergence herbicides for soybeans."
Growers responding to the 2011 Commodity Classic survey were split on whether to rely more heavily on preemergence or postemergence residual herbicides.
Among respondents, 28 percent said they plan to spend between 50 percent and 75 percent of their crop protection budget on preemergence residual herbicides, while 5 percent plan to allocate more than 75 percent of their crop protection dollars to preemergence products.
Other growers indicated they prefer to spend their crop protection dollars on postemergence residual herbicides. Nearly 30 percent said they plan to invest 50 to 75 percent of their budgets on postemergence residual herbicides and another 10 percent say they intend to spend more than 75 percent on postemergence herbicides.