The Herbicide Resistance Battle Is On!

Herbicide resistance in the prairies has been rapidly increasing overtime. Currently in Saskatchewan 57% of the fields have herbicide resistant weeds, and Alberta is sitting at 59%. This means that it is more likely for a field to have herbicide resistance than not. There are many causes to consider when assessing possible herbicide resistance, some of which are associated with the genetics of a particular weed species while others are more correlated with weed control practices. Given the facts, spreading awareness of this important topic is critical in the agriculture industry going forwards. Educating and reminding producers about the issue will inspire farmers to seek advice. 

There are many points to consider when forming your 2022 weed management plans. Farmers have a wide spectrum of pre- emergent and post- emergent chemicals to look at when making these plans. Repeating the use of similar herbicides year after year will trigger resistance. Below is a list of best practises and guidelines to help prevent resistance while still upholding weed control:

  1. Use crop rotation to your advantage. Rotating through a wide range of crops allows for different herbicides to be used year after year. The more years you can offer a break from the use of a specific MOA, the more likely you are to avoid weeds resistant to it. 
  2. Use multiple modes of action through the use of tank mixing. Hitting weeds with numerous modes of action reduces the risk of herbicide resistant weeds escaping and setting seed.
  3. Follow the herbicide labels in order to use the right herbicide, in the right field, at the right rate and apply at the right time to avoid cutting herbicide efficacy and increasing the weed seeds in the soil bank. 
  4. Implement some integrated weed management practices on your operation. This allows for herbicides to not carry such a ‘heavy weight’ on your farm. Management strategies can include cover crops, higher seeding rates, and narrow row spacing. You may also want to consider increasing the competitiveness of the crop itself with proper fertility, seed treatments to protect against stresses, and pre-seed weed control. 
  5. Record-keeping is another essential tool to use on your farm. Keep track of all operations such as seeding and spraying across all acres to ensure herbicides are well managed and aren’t being over-used. 

SynergyAG is taking this opportunity to combat herbicide resistance in the local area. We are proud to introduce “Defy Resistance”, a strategy designed to build awareness and help producers slow down or reduce the negative impact of herbicide-resistant weeds. Through launching the campaign, we are hoping to bring the issue to the forefront, making it a top priority for all growers. The Govan, Lumsden, and Provost locations are deemed the “Defy Resistance Headquarters”, where you will find trusted experts on all-things herbicide resistance. 

The battle against weed resistance is on. Contact your SynergyAG rep for more information.

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