Resistant weeds pose challenge for local producers

Resistant weeds pose challenge for local producers

Producers only thought weeds in their fields were frustrating, but the latest problem, is resistant weeds. Peter Dotray, an Agrilife Extension weed specialist, says it's locally known as the "careless weed".

"Palmer pig weed tends to come up all season long, so growers need to rely on weed control pre-plant, at plant, and after plant, and unfortunately because weeds come up mid-season and late season there's still opportunities for them to grow and compete with cotton." Dotray said. "They can also compete and interfere at harvest time so if we had ample moisture, if we had ample nutrients, then we could probably stand weeds in the field in this part of the country, we don't have that luxury. Unlike this year, moisture is usually relatively limiting and when we've got weeds in the field, they're using some of that moisture that should really be going towards the crop."

Palmer Amaranth has made many crop fields it's home, at the expense of the producer. Dotray says this weed will cause a problem at harvest if you don't try and get rid of it. But getting rid of it, will cost you.

"You know the strategy seems to be, unfortunately a lot of inputs." Dotray said. "I've seen lots of feels this year. It seems like the growers that are most successful start early, they started clean which is one of the most important principals, burning down herbicides, using tillage, planting clean, using herbicide at plant, with all the rains that we've had, we've really been pushing the herbicides to the limit, they really tend to break down with moisture, a microbial breakdown, so then just subsequent inputs are necessary, a lot of folks are using herbicide liberty, and they're putting a residual herbicide in the tank, some folks still using roundup, which is effective on a lot of non resistant weeds"

But for the resistant weeds, Roundup just isn't doing the trick.

"I think the first important principle is relying on herbicides other than Roundup." Dotray said. "I think for years a Roundup followed by Roundup, followed by Roundup, it was a pretty effective. Resistant weeds will no longer be controlled by round up so burning them down prior to planting, using something like Treflan, or prowl incorporated prior to planting, using herbicides and we have many of them that we can use at plant that we can use in season."

Dotray said getting rid of the weed is a systems approach, finding the best method for saving your crop.

"I know a lot of folks don't like to cultivate, but I know a lot of weeds are resistant to a cultivator so I think that cultivation really is an important strategy." Dotray said.

Dotray says that round up plus residual herbicides will be a good way to rid your field of weeds.

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