From the top of the Eiffel Tower, you can see a long ways!
That might seem both obvious and irrelevant to a post about weed resistance. However, Julie and I recently had the opportunity to travel to Paris, France to attend the Weed Resistance Global Symposium, which brought together farmers, weed scientists, consultants and others to learn about the impacts of weed resistance worldwide.
One evening, Julie and I did find time to take the elevators up to the very top of the Eiffel Tower. And while the view of “The City of Lights” was stunning, the vision we received from learning more about weed resistance issues was more enlightening.
It is no secret that across our region, we are seeing an alarming increase in glyphosate weed resistance. With Kochia to the Northwest, Ragweeds to the Northeast and Waterhemp pretty much all over, many farmers are looking to LibertyLink, or hoping for Xtend or other technologies to solve this problem.
But the reality is that there is no silver bullet. There is no technology that will take us back to the days of easy weed control with a single and simple herbicide program.
We are proud to be the LibertyLink Leader in this region. LibertyLink is a great technology to help with resistance issues. But it is not the final answer.
We are also excited to be positioned as the Xtend Xperts. We have a great lineup of Roundup/Dicamba soybeans in the bin just waiting for Chinese approvals. And while we are excited about both the genetics and the trait, we also know that if farmers treat Xtend like we treated Roundup Ready, we will burn through that technology in 3-4 years.
The same holds true for Enlist (2,4-D) and Balance (HPPD). These new traits are coming fast as well. But as innovative as they may be, overuse could ruin them quickly.
To me the message is clear: Farmers will need to use all the tools available–chemicals, mode of action rotation, crop rotation, different tillage methods, and more—if we are to keep ahead of resistance.
The Roundup Ready era has been awesome. Clean fields, easy weed control, simple spraying. But for most of us, it is over. Weed control going forward will be more complicated and require more management.
In fact, it will be challenging. Like they say in France: Uff Da!