Weed resistance and invasive plant species are increasingly a problem in the Mid-South and farmers continue to seek remedies to address them.

The two issues will be the subject of a special educational seminar Feb. 26 in conjunction with the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show at the Cook Convention Center at Memphis.

“Our show has increasingly become a forum for spotlighting issues of concern to farmers and for exchanging ideas,” says Tim Price, executive vice president of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association and manager of the annual trade show.

“By offering an opportunity for farmers to interact with fellow farmers and experts from industry, research, and education, our educational seminars can help everyone have a better understanding of problems and ideas for potential solutions. Many ideas that originated with farmers have found their way into equipment, products, and services that have benefited the entire industry.”

At last year’s show, a seminar focused on weed resistance — increasingly a problem for growers across the Mid-South. “That was Weed Resistance 101,” Price says. “This year, we’ll have Weed Resistance 201.

“Whether it’s johnsongrass, pigweed, or barnyardgrass, and whether you grow cotton, rice, or soybeans, herbicide-resistant weeds are a persistent issue. Although this is not a new agriculture issue, the number of herbicide-resistant weeds has increased in recent years. We want farmers to have the latest information so they can appropriately plan for the 2011 crop season.”

The International Survey of Herbicide Resistant Weeds (www.weedscience.org) provides the latest information on resistant species. Nationwide, it has identified 349 resistant biotypes and 194 species.

The top 10 herbicide-resistant species are rigid ryegrass, wild oat, redroot pigweed, common lambsquarters, green foxtail, barnyardgrass, goosegrass, kochia, horseweed, and smooth pigweed.

The survey notes herbicide resistance is prevalent across the U.S., including the Mid-South. In Arkansas, there are 20 known biotypes of resistant weeds; Louisiana has six, Missouri 12, Mississippi 17, and Tennessee 12.

University researchers and industry experts have been invited to provide an update on the state of weed resistance in the Mid-South, and offer farmers direction on the best ways to address the weeds in their farm fields.

As if weed resistance weren’t enough, farmers are faced with invasive plant species — non-native plants that have taken root in the Mid-South. According to the GeoResources Institute at Mississippi State University, there are some 40 invasive plant species prevalent in the five Mid-South states.