From FCC Express, by Owen Roberts
Herbicide resistance has concerned farmers taking action to stem the problem, according to a new poll.
The third annual herbicide resistance poll, conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of BASF Canada Inc., shows 86 per cent of growers are increasingly concerned about herbicide resistance.
Six in 10 farmers say weeds in their fields are getting tougher to control. And nearly half suspect they have herbicide-resistant weeds on their farms. These figures are consistent with poll results over the past three years.
And it’s clear the prevalence or threat of herbicide-resistant weeds is prompting farmers to take action. For example, a whopping 90 per cent of farmers say they are adjusting their growing practices to prevent herbicide resistance. That was a new question on this year’s survey.
As well, the vast majority (96 per cent) indicate they used herbicides from more than one herbicide group to manage weeds. And nearly all said they used crop rotation as an effective herbicide-resistant weed management strategy.
However, agronomists and others who provide weed extension and education to farmers still face an uphill battle. Only half of the farmers polled agreed glyphosate alone is no longer effective in controlling weeds, even though such single-mode approaches to crop protection are widely regarded as being at the root of the resistance problem.
“One of the most important things farmers can do to reduce the occurrence of herbicide resistance is mix things up – either by crop rotation, tank-mixing or by simply using different modes of action in sequence,” says weed scientist Dr. Ian Heap, director of the International Survey of Herbicide-Resistant Weeds, who is part of a team monitoring the incidence of herbicide-resistant weeds from around the world.
According to Heap, Canada now has 59 herbicide-resistant weed varieties. Globally, 416 such varieties have been identified.