If farmers go forward with only one weed control technology — regardless of which one it is — it could have a three- to five-year lifespan. Maybe shorter.
A new weed control technology could be dead before the seed industry gets completely geared up on variety choice and availability.
It would be easy to say the cleaner crop is due to the big increase in LibertyLink cotton and soybeans. I am sure that is some of it, but there are some good-looking Roundup Ready crops out there as well. More and more folks seem to be learning that we are in a fight and they are hooking up to do whatever it takes to win.
My list of things that were not said at the recent National Summit on Strategies to Manage Herbicide Resistant Weeds is not all-inclusive, but until we can come to grips with some of them there is little hope of moving forward.
The season has started out difficult in many areas of Arkansas — primarily due to the lack of rainfall. A lot of the residual herbicides applied in all crops have not been activated properly, which puts more pressure on the postemergence herbicide timing.
We have already had a lot of residual herbicides applied in February and March that went two to four weeks without a rain for activation. The way you have to compensate for that inconsistency is to make multiple applications — stacking or overlapping.
Take a worst-case scenario where you know you have major pigweed issues and you are going to plant Roundup Ready soybeans. Perhaps you have been in LibertyLink a couple of years and want to rotate out or you just like the Roundup Ready system. In this scenario, you definitely need to stack or overlap residuals.
I just returned from the national meeting for weed scientists. It was a great meeting with a lot of excellent presentations. While a major emphasis at the meeting was on herbicide-resistant weeds, I was disappointed by the lack of emphasis on proactive resistance management.
In the next five years we will be using several non-chemical weed control methods to keep our herbicide programs viable. It will not be because you want to do these things, but rather you will have to in order to survive.
We must have a viable aerial application industry in Arkansas. Those guys have a highly visible industry. Not many of us would want the sort of visibility in our business they have on a daily basis. Their industry has risks involved that not many of us would be willing to take.