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.
The first rope wick applicators for Roundup herbicide in Mid-South weed control simply used some nylon rope, 4-inch or so PVC pipe, some rubber grommets and a way to mount it on the tractor or other means to push it. You could buy them or make them yourself.
One colleague who has attempted to keep me straight through the years recently e-mailed a comment along the lines that “I do not see how weed species shifts are any different from herbicide resistance, although you seem to think so.”
When I began my career as a weed scientist in 1974, we had propanil (Stam), Ordram and the phenoxy herbicides in rice, which would seem like a very limited arsenal now. However, we got along quite well with them at the time.
A huge part of managing change now is going to be learning to use the LibertyLink and Ignite herbicide correctly. At present we are doing a lot of things that are going to contribute to premature failure of the system, says weed scientist Ford Baldwin.
Soil residual herbicides have again become a necessary part of a weed control program and they can do some great things — when they work, but without soil moisture for incorporated herbicides or activating rainfall or overhead irrigation for pre-emergence herbicides, they do not work.