Wheat growers need help in assessing resistant weeds
Setting the stage for a quality wheat crop and a profitable growing season hinges on the ability to effectively control competitive weeds. For more than two decades, weed resistance to individual families of chemistry has become commonplace, and this grueling challenge is not diminishing. With each growing season, previously successful herbicides with modes of action, like ALS and ACCase inhibitors, are becoming less effective against troublesome cereal crop weeds such as Italian ryegrass, green foxtail, kochia and wild oat. Aiming to keep this ever-growing issue top of mind, Syngenta visited with industry experts to give wheat growers topline tips to consider as they come face-to-face with weed resistance today.
Sales agronomists and crop consultants should consider the points explained here when talking to their wheat- and barley-growing clients.
Watch for Weeds
Herbicide resistance is the inherited ability of weeds to survive and reproduce following a herbicide application that would normally kill them. “If you overuse the same herbicide mode of action, you will face herbicide resistant weed species, and the severity will depend on the cropping system,” said Donn Thill, professor of weed science, University of Idaho. Fortunately, a proactive and diversified weed management strategy can help cereal growers stay ahead of resistant populations.
In the Pacific Northwest, winter annual grasses and some broadleaf weeds are top of mind for wheat farmers. “Growers fear them most as they’re the most difficult to control in wheat,” said Thill. “Such weeds include downy brome and prickly lettuce, as well as jointed goatgrass, for which we rely on Clearfield herbicide tolerant wheat to help control,” he added.
To help address some of the most stubborn weeds and promote vigorous growth, Syngenta has also introduced its own line of Clearfield wheat varieties, such as AP604 CL, AP700 CL and SY605 CL, as a component of an integrated management solution. “Clearfield wheat technology allows the use of a Group 2 herbicide to be used in rotation with a Group 1 herbicide for resistance management in cereals,” said Don Porter, cereals technical brand asset lead, Syngenta. The Clearfield technology, combined with imazamox active ingredient herbicides is a good system to control stubborn weeds, such as jointed goatgrass and feral rye that are not effectively controlled by other selective cereal herbicides,” Porter suggested.