For Tillar, Ark., producer Steve Stevens, weed control across his 4,500 acres has gone from simple to complex. But residual herbicides, rotation and two weed technologies are helping him manage it. He’s also using a new nozzle that can help deal with the risk of drift in a two-herbicide technology system.

Stevens, who farms corn, cotton and soybeans, uses both LibertyLink and Roundup Ready technologies to combat weed resistance. But it’s taken a few years for him to understand how they could work together.

“When I was first presented with the Liberty option in 2004, I wanted another system that was like the Roundup Ready system. I soon learned there would never be a system as good or as inexpensive. So what I’ve learned is that I need to use the Liberty system to preserve the Roundup Ready system.”

Even though they aren’t in every field, resistant weeds are a part of every decision Stevens makes. There’s a lot at stake. “If you let your guard down and let your farm become wrapped up in resistant pigweed, your land values are going to go down on that farm because it’s going to take money to get it back.

“We’re going to have to be good stewards of the Liberty system by using lots of residual herbicides so we don’t let resistance get Liberty. Liberty is our last defense.”

Stevens’ resistance management plan is to rotate 30 percent to 40 percent of  his crop acres to LibertyLink “to keep weeds mixed up.  I don’t want those resistant weeds on my farm.”

Stevens plants Pioneer/Herculex corn hybrids, which come with the option of the dual herbicide technologies of Roundup Ready and LibertyLink, and also plants non-Bt corn that is Roundup Ready only.

“Corn will give you more options on weed control,” Stevens said, “but I don’t let a field grow up thinking I can clean it up with corn. I think that gives you a false sense of security.”

Cotton acres are planted in a combination of Roundup Ready and LibertyLink varieties. “We’ve been planting LibertyLink cotton since 2004. We spent three years learning how to use the technology, and waiting on varieties that had good yield potential. We have those now.”

LibertyLink cotton goes on fields with a history of resistant weeds because residuals applied on those fields may not always receive an activating rainfall. “LibertyLink gives you an out.”