Though a recent soy checkoff survey found most U.S. soybean farmers consider herbicide-resistant weeds to be an issue that will have only a minimal effect on their profitability, the checkoff considers them to be a major problem that warrants attention.
In response, it has organized the Take Action program, a collaborative effort to increase farmers' awareness of the damage these weeds can do, as well as provide some recommended courses of action.
The program, in collaboration with 15 land-grant universities and six agriculture-technology companies, encourages farmers to develop more diverse weed-management plans – such as crop rotation, residual herbicides and multiple herbicide modes of action – to keep these weeds from spreading further.
"We can't rely on one input or one mode of action to effectively treat these weeds; we're way past that point," says Todd Gibson, a United Soybean Board director. "Managing this issue will require farmers to adapt to new methods in the same way these weeds are adapting to survive our old methods."