Combating Herbicide Resistance: The Key to Future Crop Protection
Posted by Go Grow Strategies :: April 1, 2024

Tractor spraying vegetable field in sunset.Herbicide resistance has become a major concern for crop protection companies and farmers alike. Over the last 40 years, no new weed-killing mechanism has been introduced into the crop protection marketplace. This fact has led to weeds becoming increasingly resistant to the existing herbicides, causing major issues for farmers struggling to protect their crops.

At SpinnerAg, we are keenly aware of the challenges posed by herbicide resistance and are committed to exploring new ways to preserve the effectiveness of herbicides in modern agriculture. In this post, we will explore the steps being taken by both companies and farmers to combat herbicide resistance.

Developing New Modes of Action to Tackle Weed Resistance
One of the key strategies to manage herbicide resistance is by developing new modes of action that target invasive plants before their tolerance can evolve. Agricultural chemical companies like Corteva Agriscience are focusing on creating innovative herbicide combinations to sustain product life and limit the overuse of pesticides in the fight against resilient weeds.

Ron Geis, a Market Development Specialist with Corteva Agriscience, explains, “We’ve been giving weeds a herbicide diet, and they keep finding ways to get around that diet. There’s been nothing waiting in the wings when one process fails, so herbicides should have multiple modes of action to keep weeds off balance.”

R&D Efforts to Address Farmer Pain Points
Companies are not sitting idly by as their products become less effective. Instead, they are ramping up their R&D efforts to devise handy formulations that offer varied solutions for tackling farmer pain points both now and in the future. Among these solutions is Corteva’s Vorceed Enlist, a corn rootworm stopper with the added benefit of curbing late-season emerged broadleaf weed pressures.

Enlist’s corn trait counters weed tolerance to 2,4-D choline, glyphosate, glufosinate, and FOP herbicides. When applied according to label instructions, Enlist solutions showcase near-zero volatility and a reduced potential for physical drift. This wide application window allows for greater flexibility in the use of Enlist to mitigate late-season broadleaf weeds.

Geis further elaborates, “Our Resicore herbicide is good for corn as well. It has three modes of action to manage weed resistance. Combining Resicore with other resistance products gives farmers a wide application window throughout the operating season.”

The Importance of Multiple Applications and Modes of Action in Drought Conditions
Drought conditions experienced across the U.S. have emphasized the importance of utilizing multiple applications and modes of action in the fight against weeds. Additives included in existing herbicides can improve uptake in moisture-deprived weeds, where closed stomata and thickened cuticles have diminished product effectiveness.

Corteva also stresses the importance of attacking post-emergent weeds like water hemp when they are at a small stature (roughly one to three inches in height) to maximize the efficacy of herbicide applications.

New Herbicide Solutions on the Horizon
Efforts to combat herbicide resistance are ongoing, with a focus on continuing to develop innovative herbicides that take new approaches to weed control. Kyro, a corn herbicide set for a full launch in 2023, combines three modes of action effective against 65 different types of broadleaf and grass weeds. Products like Kyro give new hope to crop protection companies and farmers for maintaining control over herbicide-resistant weeds in the future.

Managing herbicide resistance is not a futile task. By investing in R&D, incorporating new modes of action, and adapting application strategies to account for environmental factors, the crop protection industry continues to evolve and tackle the issue of herbicide resistance head-on. For more information on our commitment to fight herbicide resistance, visit SpinnerAg.

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