New technology must be used with good stewardship

In Southwest Farm Press

The old saw, “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it,” attributed to George Santayana, should be made into a bumper sticker and slapped onto the side of every spray rig in the cotton belt as a constant reminder that overuse of new chemistry will shorten its useful life.

Overuse of Roundup Ready technology resulted in what Todd Baughman, Oklahoma State University Extension agronomist, refers to as Public enemy No. 1: herbicide-resistant pigweed. Continue reading

Texas wheat producers eye canola in crop rotations

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

Texas A&M AgriLife Research is conducting several studies on canola in both the Rolling Plains and High Plains regions as interest in the crop continues to grow.

The canola plots were showcased recently at field days at both the AgriLife Research Chillicothe Station, south of Chillicothe in the Rolling Plains, and at the AgriLife Research Bush Farm, 600 Farm-to-Market Road 2381 north of Bushland in the Panhandle. Continue reading

Research team finds that natural enemies help delay insecticide resistance, protect Bt crops

Despite the controversy over them, transgenic crops have helped growers fend off some of the most destructive pests. The higher yield that results has provided consumers more affordable food. When used properly as a part of an integrated pest management program, transgenic crops can be an effective and economical way to manage certain pests, diseases and weeds. Unfortunately, as the failures of Roundup Ready crops have shown, transgenic crops are not sustainable when used as the sole pest management tactic.

When Bt technology came out, the Environmental Protection Agency instituted a requirement to have a “refuge” plot of crops not protected with Bt to maintain a population of pests that were not exposed to the Bt toxin. The refuge could be treated with an insecticide; it just couldn’t be treated with Bt. The theory behind the refuge was that having a plot of the crop that was treated with a different insecticide would give the pest species a non-Bt alternative, so that those individuals would still be susceptible to Bt, mate with individuals who had been exposed to Bt and pass on their Bt-susceptible genes to the next generation, therefore delaying resistance. Continue reading

Mississippi leads nation in number of herbicide-resistant weed species

In this video at Delta Farm Press, Darrin Dodds says that it’s a dubious honor that Mississippi leads the nation in the number of glyphosate-resistant weeds — and pigweed (Palmer amaranth) is now at the top of that list, he said at the annual joint meeting of the Mississippi Boll Weevil Management Corporation and the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Cotton Policy Committee. He discussed the issue with Farm Press Editorial Director Hembree Brandon.

Advice from weed resistance expert: Try diversity

From Southeast Farm Press

Renowned weed scientist Steve Powles, having had to find solutions and work-arounds in resistant weed-infested crops in his native Australia, has tried to prepare American producers for their own burgeoning resistance problems.

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Herbicide resistance needs more proactive rather than reactive farming

This is reprinted from Delta Farm Press, written by Ford Baldwin. It’s a great case about why IPM should be used for weeds. Read the story at Delta Farm Press.

I just returned from the Global Herbicide Resistance Challenge conference in Fremantle, Australia. It was a great meeting with a lot of internationally renowned weed scientists making excellent presentations. It was essentially the “State of the Union” on where we are on herbicide resistance world-wide.

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