Herbicide Resistance

My name is Austin Pelyak.  I am an Agronomy graduate and I want to share some information about herbicide resistance. Herbicide resistance has been a growing problem among growers throughout the United States and the world. In the United States alone, we have 155 known species of resistant weeds. This is becoming a pandemic across the US as farmers use more and more of the same herbicide on the same weeds. This is how resistance builds up and becomes an issue. The herbicide has a specific mode of action (MOA) and after repeated sprays with the herbicide, the weed builds resistance to it rendering the herbicide virtually useless.

How can we stop this from happening you might ask? How can we prevent more weeds from becoming resistant? It’s simple, rotation. Rotation of herbicides with different MOAs is essential in curbing resistance. Another rotation that should be used is the rotation of different crops in the field, like corn to soybeans then soybeans to wheat and wheat to soybeans then back to corn for agronomic crops. Different crops shade out or outgrow different weeds.

Tillage is also an effective method of destroying weeds and burying potential seeds that will sprout in the spring. Cover crops alone can reduce weed pressure by 50%.  It is the simple things growers can do to make resistance a thing of the past and allow future generations to not worry about resistant weeds.

This blog post was an assignment for Societal Issues: Pesticides, Alternatives and the Environment (PLNTPTH 4597). The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the class, Department of Plant Pathology or the instructor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *