It doesn't matter where you are, you've probably seen them – herbicide-resistant waterhemp, marestail, giant ragweed, and depending on your location, even kochia and palmer amaranth.
Related: Weed resistance is tough to predict
The Syngenta Resistance Fighter Leadership Program is currently seeking applications for its 2015 class. Since the program started in 2009, its goal has been to recognize agronomists, consultants and county extension agents who have successfully implemented resistance management practices with producers in their area.
Clint Einspahr, assistant sales agronomy leader for Cargill in Arapahoe, Neb., is a member of the 2011 class of Resistance Fighters.
"You get the chance to talk to different people from different arenas, and you find out almost everybody has some kind of resistance problem," Einspahr says. "The best part is you can call the other Resistance Fighters and ask how their spring or summer's going, what they've seen, what they did to control those weeds, and what they're excited about that's coming out."
Einspahr adds with Resistance Fighters across the U.S., there is plenty of opportunity to share information on what's happening in other regions.
"They may be in the southeast where they get lot more rain than we do, but just understanding what they do differently could work for us. You can take some of that information, try it and find out if it worked," he says. "One of the things my customers say is I see more acres than they do. The nice thing is with being in this program, I now know what everybody else is seeing. When something like tall waterhemp gets resistant in my area, I know people that have experience with it."
Adapting to resistant weeds
In his region of southwest Nebraska, the number one problem weed is kochia, although marestail and waterhemp also pose a challenge.
"We are in a heavier corn and wheat rotation, so we have a good range of products, but our soybean acres in the southwest part of the state have been more and more of a struggle to control weeds in," Einspahr says. "I know growers are really looking for an answer. Some are even going away from no-till because they can't clean things up."
Resistant weeds have made growers change their herbicide programs to control weeds up front, using the full rate, multiple modes of action, along with a two-pass system of pre and post-emergence residuals.
"When I started my career, I ran a sprayer and we didn't have the ability to run Roundup. So we used a lot of products," Einspahr recalls.
"I remember when Roundup Ready soybeans came out. At first, we had so many weeds I couldn't see the rows of soybeans. Then we sprayed it with 32 ounces of Roundup, one shot, and killed all the weeds. A week or two later, there wasn't a weed out there, and the beans looked fantastic. We went from a lot of mixes to using just Roundup, which killed everything."
Related: Managing Herbicide Resistant Weeds
"Now we're seeing more weeds resistant to glyphosate, so we're starting to go back to what we did beforehand," he adds. "We're using different products, different modes of action and two-pass systems. I don't think glyphosate is something you want to give up, but you need to think about keeping your field clean up front, using a pre-emergence herbicide and following that with glyphosate as a post."
To learn more or to apply for the Syngenta Resistance Fighter Leadership Program, visit resistancefighter.com. The deadline for applications is September 15, 2015.
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