Collinsville, Ill. (Oct. 9, 2012) – Continual use of glyphosate herbicides alone has led to a weed resistance crisis in many parts of the United States, with farmers struggling with severe weed problems while watching profits drain from their pocketbooks. At the Respect the Rotation™ field day in Collinsville, Ill. on August 15, sponsored by Bayer CropScience, more than 300 farmers, retailers, seed company and association representatives heard warnings from those in the forefront of the problem about what is right around the corner, if not already present – resistance. They listened to the latest updates on Palmer amaranth and waterhemp and resistance hot spots, as well as timely information on how to reduce the potential for resistance issues to emerge on their farms.
Field plots at the event clearly demonstrated what can occur with lack of herbicide diversity. Many attendees saw a reflection of what they already see in their fields at home.
“If someone looked at the ground here and saw black specs like pepper, that’s Palmer amaranth weed seed. That shows you how abundant the population, and the weed seed, is from the plants in this field,” said Bryan Young, professor of weed science and agronomy at Southern Illinois University. “Resistance isn’t going to go away. Farmers are still going to have to deal with it, but they have another tool in LibertyLink to help manage those resistance issues.”
“More than at any time in our history, farmers must manage for weed control or face the loss of productivity, sustainability and their legacy to future generations,” Tom Nash, Bayer CropScience technical service representative explained. “These integrated weed management practices provide a solid foundation to preserve conservation tillage, steward additional herbicide-tolerant technologies and promote sustainable and profitable row crop production.”
Local grower Mike Mueller of Clarence, Mo. agrees. “What I got out of today I can summarize in one word – scared. I see 10-foot tall Palmer amaranth lying around here and I think about the resistant giant ragweed on my farm. We need to be rotating. We’ve abused Roundup in the past and we cannot do that with LibertyLink.”
Attendees were also able to see how innovative solutions from Bayer can be incorporated into their management programs to deter resistance development through a variety of tools. Plots included a range of Bayer products, including LibertyLink® technology and Liberty® herbicide, Capreno® and Stratego YLD®.
“Bayer is dedicated to bringing game-changing technologies like LibertyLink and Liberty to market to help address the most important agronomic challenges farmers face,” added Nash. “These solutions are a perfect fit for the principles of Respect the Rotation.”
“The goal of the initiative is to promote farmer adoption of diversified management practices that help manage or prevent glyphosate-resistant weeds, as well as promote stewardship of viable alternatives,” he continued. “LibertyLink soybeans are a perfect fit.”
The Respect the Rotation initiative, conducted by Bayer and local university scientists, promotes rotation of crops, herbicide-tolerant traits and modes of action to encourage greater diversity in herbicide programs and reinforce the principals of Integrated Weed Management. It encourages the use of multiple chemical, cultural and mechanical control methods where feasible.
The Collinsville, Ill. event is one of several programs conducted throughout the South and Midwest this summer. The program, in its third year, provides a forum for education and discussion on management of resistant weeds. During that time, Bayer has seen positive changes implemented throughout the weed science and agricultural industry communities, as well as by farmers and influencers at the field level.
Additional information about weed resistance management or Respect the Rotation, including educational tools, is available online at http://www.bayercropscience.us/products/weed-management/.
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About Bayer CropScience
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience, the subgroup of Bayer AG responsible for the agricultural business, has annual sales of EUR 7.255 billion (2011) and is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of seeds, crop protection and non-agricultural pest control. The company offers an outstanding range of products including high value seeds, innovative crop protection solutions based on chemical and biological modes of action as well as an extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture. In the area of non-agricultural applications, Bayer CropScience has a broad portfolio of products and services to control pests from home and garden to forestry applications. The company has a global workforce of 21,000 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at: press.bayercropscience.com.