Weed and insect resistance is a serious agronomic issue in Indiana and in most of the eastern Corn Belt. While there is lots of new chemistry to combat resistance, management is still the key. Indiana farmers have seen resistant weeds showing up in their fields in greater numbers the past few growing seasons. This resistance will only continue to increase unless steps are taken to break the cycle. Kevin Cool, with Becks Hybrids, says rotating modes of action and proper management are the first steps, “You have got to get back to basics, making sure we are using the proper rates, pay attention to timing, getting the weeds while they are still small enough to control.” He said the glyphosate system was very flexible and some producers got lax in weed management.
Beck’s is recommending the Liberty Link technology as a way to mix modes of action, but Cool says there are a variety of tools available. He added that management is at the core of a weed resistance strategy, “There is not a silver bullet; it is going to come down to an effective management style. No matter what system a farmer uses, he needs to follow the label, paying attention to timing restrictions.” He added each farmer has his own management style and will have to make adjustments to make these tools work together with his style and the specific needs of his operation.
Weed resistance is only part of the problem. Insect resistance, while not an issue in the Eastern Corn Belt now, is something to watch for. He told HAT insect resistance will need to be approached like weed resistance, “We are going to have to manage our insecticides and mix those modes of action. We are going to have to avoid the habit of just using the same insect controls year after year.” He urged growers to prolong the life of these tools by taking the time to use multiple products and modes of action.
For more information on weed and insect resistance, visit Becks Hybrids’ web site.[audio:http://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2013/02/resistancewrap.mp3|titles=Management Is Key to Preventing Weed Resistance]