Managing weed resistance is a growing issue for Indiana farmers. This month’s Better Farming Report deals with how to manage resistance with tight profit margins. Jim Mintert, with the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture, says managing resistant weeds is something growers cannot afford to ignore for both agronomic and economic reasons, “For many years, weed control was relatively easy and cheap, but that is no longer the case.” He said many Indiana fields have at least one and perhaps two weed species that are resistant and the cost of managing those weed is tremendous. While farmer profit margins are tight this year, Mintert says the cost of not addressing resistant weeds is much higher than taking action to deal with the problem, “If you reduce your yields by let’s say 30% because you fail to control weeds, in soybeans you would increase your cost of production by as much as $3 per bushel.”
Bill Johnson, weed specialist at Purdue, in the latest Better Farming video, says that the first step growers need to take is to determine if they have a problem. “There are a lot of little signs that can tell you if you have a problem,” he states. “Things like live plants next to dead plants, or suddenly not being able to control a weed species that you have been able to control in the past.”
In our next report, we will focus on steps growers should take if they find they have resistant weeds in their fields. You can also watch the entire Better Farming video at our web site www.hoosieragtoday.com.