South Texas, or coastal Texas, is a unique region of the greater Southwest, marked by a sub-tropical climate, unique soils and a host of both advantages and disadvantages when it comes to agriculture.
The warmer climate allows for an extended growing season, and its relationship with the tropical Gulf of Mexico offers some clear advantages, like seasonal rains, but also unique challenges, not the least of which is an environment conducive to the rapid growth and propagation of noxious and damaging weed varieties.
In the Texas Coastal Bend, for example, are growing concerns over the rampant development of glyphosate-resistant weeds, specially pigweed and waterhemp. While not unique to the Texas coast, these noxious threats thrive in the coastal environment and are gaining ground on farmers who often feel they are losing their fields to weeds.
Jason P. Ott, CEA–Ag/NR for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Nueces County, warns that “newer is not always better,” and says South Texas producers need to adopt the practice of rotating herbicides with various modes of action as part of their weed management plans, including older herbicides.
“A key component of successful crop production is effective weed management,” Ott said, adding that when it comes to weed control and managing herbicide resistance, “if you like your herbicide program, you better change your herbicide program.”