Headaches in the supply chain: Why U.S. farmers and agribusinesses are planning their herbicides early for 2022
If you are a retailer, producer, or custom applicator, chances are you pay special attention to the quality of the new (ish) 2,4-D and dicamba technologies are controlling populations of amaranth and palmer’s amaranth. In a limited number of areas the answer is, not so well – and naturally there is a fear of the snowball effect, writes Jackie Pucci to CropLife.
To put into perspective how costly the battle has become, the farmers interviewed by BASF say they spend 10 times more to fight amaranth than just 10 years ago, according to Kate greif, Head of Liberty Herbicide Products at BASF.
Greif was part of the initiative launched by BASF to tackle water hemp and amaranth in 2019, dubbed Operation Weed eradication, which is now an industry-wide coalition. This effort aims to change the approach and mindset regarding weed management.
“For me, the keystone, or top building block, is diligence in controlling the last weed standing on the farm. This amounts to even an amaranth or Palmer can produce up to a million seeds per plant. That’s the legacy this weed leaves in the field for the following season, ”says Greif.
“It comes down to residues”, Dan Beran, director of technical services, Nufarm, recount CropLife®. Beran attended Larry Steckel, Weed Extension Specialist at the University of TennesseeField Day, June 16, when the two T’s – tank mixes and timing – were key to their role in controlling the spread of resistant weeds.
“You can imagine that if your residual bundle gets out of control at 21 days and it rains for two weeks, your weed size will be way too large for any of the post-emergence herbicides available,” says Beran. Tank mixtures with glufosinate (for example, Nufarm cheetah) play a key role, in addition to layering residues such as metolachlor and acetochlor. The main message, he said, was not to spray Xtend Where Enlist as a stand-alone treatment.
“I think with the flexibility offered by rising raw material prices, it’s not necessarily that hard for a grower to invest extra dollars for weed control,” Beran adds. “The new traits are very useful and very welcome, but are not bulletproof.”
The rebound in grain prices, according to Dane bowers, Technical Product Manager with Syngenta, give growers a better position to select more premium herbicides to provide the control they need preemergence. “I think we may have seen it this year, and it feels like there has been a return to using some of the best products before to provide that residual activity that we really need. It’s a good sign.