There’s no simple solution to weed control

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” said George Santayana in The Life of Reason. That quote seems fitting to apply to weed scientist Eric Prostko’s warning to growers about overusing herbicide-resistant technology in the absence of other non-chemical weed management. He authored an article in Southeast Farm Press named “7 lessons learned from the ‘glyphosate era’ we must remember.”

Prostko recalls the development of glyphosate-resistant crops that exploded in the US, leading to some of the worst cases of glyphosate-resistant weeds developing because of resistance. Now, he says, growers face another possible era of herbicide resistance, due to auxin-resistant, or AR, crops. Continue reading

Why people resort to the silver bullet: using psychology to teach IPM

I’ve had many discussions with my colleagues about the best way to sell integrated pest management, or IPM, to the public. Although I don’t usually work with people directly on their pest management practices, I have heard some of our IPM Coordinators say, and have read in several news articles, that IPM is easier to sell to some people than to others. Why is that? Why is the organic community so successful at selling organic goods to the general public, while most people I know outside of my job don’t know what “IPM” stands for?

The answer may lie in an article that appeared in Perspectives on Psychological Science in 2015, titled “Improving Public Engagement With Climate Change: Five ‘Best Practice’ Insights from Psychological Science.” Although the article focuses on climate change policymaking, we can use similar principles in IPM to assist our “integrated people management,” as some of my school IPM colleagues call it. Continue reading

EPA Registers Dicamba Formulation for Use on Dicamba Tolerant Crops

EPA is registering a dicamba formulation, Xtendimax™ with Vapor Grip™ Technology, which is specifically designed to have lower volatility, to control weeds in cotton and soybean crops genetically engineered to tolerate dicamba.

This registration is for a formulation of dicamba that contains an additive that reduces volatility. This formulation is different from the products that are alleged to have been recently used illegally. EPA continues to investigate these issues in several locations in the Midwest. Continue reading

Dicamba drift incidents in Arkansas result in new regulations, steep fines

In Delta Farm Press

by David Bennett, Delta Farm Press

Faced with numerous fields hit with off-target dicamba drift, the Arkansas State Plant Board will soon consider a wide range of options to curb the problem. Illegal over-the-top use of dicamba on Xtend soybeans has harmed many Mid-South crops.

On Monday (August 8), the board’s Pesticide Committee passed several proposals that will now go to the full Plant Board for consideration. Continue reading

Applying herbicides without regard to the label has consequences

In Delta Farm Press

by David Bennett, Farm Press staff

Sadly, off-target herbicide drift leading to damaged crops isn’t new to Mid-South farmers. However, the concerns have become more pronounced with dicamba being illegally applied over-the-top of Xtend soybeans.

Unfortunately, damaged crops are only part of a set of problems. Continue reading

Mid-South soybean farmers learning about consequences of not following label

In Delta Farm Press

by David Bennett, Delta Farm Press

When Monsanto’s Xtend soybeans were approved for planting this season, many applauded the move. After all, the technology means crops can be sprayed with dicamba and weeds are only becoming tougher to control. There was a huge caveat, though: while the seed could be planted, new, less volatile formulations of dicamba were not approved.

In the run up to planting, Mid-South growers were repeatedly warned over-the-top applications of available dicamba products would not be allowed. Even so, state officials fretted improper spraying would happen following a 2015 growing season when “some individuals — a very small group — used a dicamba product not labeled for this seed,” said Susie Nichols at the Arkansas State Plant Board in April. “That’s a big worry for the Plant Board; there’s a lot of Xtend soybean seed in the state. We’ve tried to let everyone know it’s a violation to use any dicamba product on this technology because none is labeled for this use. Continue reading

EPA Seeks Comment on Proposed Decision to Register Dicamba for Use on Genetically-Engineered Crops

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to register dicamba to control weeds in cotton and soybean genetically engineered (GE) to tolerate dicamba. Continue reading

How to avoid herbicide resistance in weeds

In Delta Farm Press

by Bob Scott, University of Arkansas

Weed scientists at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture have created quite a stir with news that through experimentation in the greenhouse, researchers selected for a population of pigweed — Palmer amaranth — that is tolerant to the herbicide dicamba at a field rate. This pigweed population did not evolve resistance in the field, but there is much we can learn from the artificial selection that took place in the greenhouse.

The researchers exposed three generations of pigweed to sub-lethal doses of dicamba, a recipe for resistance development. We started with pigweed collected from the field that was susceptible to dicamba. By the third generation, we were able to select for seedlings capable of surviving an application at one-time rate that should’ve provided effective control. Continue reading

PPO-resistant pigweed, ragweed will be a major concern in 2016

In Southeast Farm Press

North Carolina State University Extension Weed Specialist Wes Everman has continually issued warning bells that resistance to PPO inhibitors is a real concern for North Carolina farmers. It is a message he will continue to deliver in 2016.

Speaking at the 2015 fall convention of the North Carolina Agricultural Consultants Association in Raleigh Dec. 4, Everman said PPO-resistant palmer Amaranth has been confirmed in Tennessee and Arkansas. “I’m pretty confident we have it in Palmer here. And we’re most of the way down the road toward confirming it in ragweed here as well,” he said. Continue reading

USDA announces deregulation of dicamba-tolerant trait in cotton and soybeans

In Delta Farm Press

USDA’s decision to deregulate the dicamba-tolerant trait in cotton and soybeans moves farmers a step closer to having a new tool for controlling Palmer amaranth and other economically troublesome weeds.

Continue reading