Pesticide Resistance Needs Attention, Large-Scale Study

To slow the evolutionary progression of weeds and insect pests gaining resistance to herbicides and pesticides, policymakers should provide resources for large-scale, landscape-level studies of a number of promising but untested approaches for slowing pest evolution. Such landscape studies are now more feasible because of new genomic and technological innovations that could be used to compare the efficacy of strategies for preventing weed and insect resistance.

That’s the takeaway recommendation from a North Carolina State University review paper addressing pesticide resistance published today in the journal Science. Continue reading

UGA Extension study shows impact of herbicides on pecan trees

By Clint Thompson, University of Georgia

Dicamba and 2,4-D herbicides, sprayed directly on trees at full rates, kill the plant material they touch, but they don’t travel through the tree or linger from year to year, according to a newly released University of Georgia Cooperative Extension pecan study. The study also found that drift from the herbicides does not hurt the trees.

UGA Extension pecan specialist Lenny Wells and UGA Extension weed scientist Eric Prostko researched the effects of low and high concentrations of dicamba and 2,4-D herbicides on pecan trees at the university’s Ponder Farm in Tifton, Georgia. They studied 5-, 8- and 9-year-old ‘Desirable’ pecan trees. No data was collected on older trees. Continue reading

Hit the Target website a tool for producers on both sides of auxin training

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

While cotton and soybean producers across Texas are getting the do’s and don’ts for applying new chemical formulations to their crop, the education is being extended to producers with sensitive or susceptible crops to protect their investments.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service personnel have more than 70 meetings planned to train producers on working with the new auxin herbicide technology in cotton and soybeans as a part of label requirements, said Dr. Scott Nolte, AgriLife Extension state weed specialist in College Station. Continue reading

Training is required for dicamba use

In Southeast Farm Press

In October 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency approved revised labeling for new formulations of dicamba products that are marketed as Engenia (BASF), Xtendimax (Monsanto), and FeXapan (DuPont).

These new herbicides were developed in conjunction with the release of dicamba-tolerant soybean (Roundup Ready2 Xtend soybean varieties).  All three products, which were first available for applications during the 2017 growing season, are now classified by the EPA as “RESTRICTED USE” pesticides, meaning that either a commercial or private pesticide certification license must be held by individuals who purchase and apply these products. Continue reading

Miracle weed killer is devastating farms

In the Washington Post

EDITOR’s NOTE: One of the primary purposes of integrated pest management is to prevent pesticide resistance. Unfortunately, as Northeastern IPM Center Director Steve Young says, “the trend in industry, regulatory, policy, and even academia over the past several decades has been a focus on technology aimed at simplifying production practices,” resulting in “fewer and fewer options.” The looming controversy over dicamba use is a prime example. I’ve been reading articles in Delta and Southeast Farm Press over the past several months that show that use of the most recent release of dicamba has torn the agricultural community apart, pitting neighbor against neighbor. Some farmers have resigned themselves to switching to dicamba-resistant soybeans just to stay in business. The story below, continued in the Washington Post, highlights some of the issues that have been related in the news during the past year and emphasize the importance of a varied pest management program.

article by Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post

Clay Mayes slams on the brakes of his Chevy Silverado and jumps out with the engine running, yelling at a dogwood by the side of the dirt road as if it had said something insulting.

Its leaves curl downward and in on themselves like tiny, broken umbrellas. It’s the telltale mark of inadvertent exposure to a controversial herbicide called dicamba. Continue reading

Weed scientists says temperature inversions responsible for large acreage dicamba damage

In Delta Farm Press

by Ford Baldwin, weed scientist consultant

Continuing with excerpts from my testimony before the Arkansas Joint Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development Committee meeting on dicamba, I will focus on what is required to get a large acreage or a landscape effect from a herbicide.

This effect occurred in the high use areas in west Tennessee, northeast Arkansas, the Mississippi Delta, and the Missouri Bootheel. It is much different than what is happening in areas or states where less dicamba is being applied. In these high use areas, about two to three weeks after the drift and volatility patterns that I described appeared, the bomb went off — both in 2016 and to a much greater extent in 2017. Continue reading

Temperature inversion and herbicide applications

The following tips were presented in a Delta Farm Press article related to the dicamba drift debate. Because some herbicide labels include instructions about not applying during a temperature inversion, I am including the tips below. You can read the entire article in Delta Farm Press.

Here are eight things about temperature inversion based on University of Missouri research you should know now. Continue reading