Texas Agriculture February 3, 2017 : Page 16

By Shala Watson Multimedia Writer As farmers prepare for planting season, low commodity prices aren’t the only challenge they face. Farm-ers across the state are also battling a serious mounting problem—herbi-cide-resistant weeds. There are seven weeds listed in Texas as resistant to one herbicide or another, according to Dr. Peter Dotray, AgriLife Extension special-ist and weed science professor at Texas Tech University. Palmer amaranth, also known as pigweed, and waterhemp are two of the main weeds growers are con-cerned about. Pigweed is a concern for grow-ers in the Corpus Christi area and northward, as well as in the High Plains. Waterhemp is found closer to Houston and Central Texas. Roundup Ready technology is no longer as effective in the battle against these weeds. “As growers continued to kind of over-rely on Roundup, we now are seeing resistant populations of both the waterhemp and the palmer ama-ranth across the state,” Dotray said. “So what used to be a very effective herbicide and a very good cotton germplasm today is just not as effec-tive.” But there are new tools farmers can use in 2017 to help slow the spread of the herbicide-resistant weeds. In recent months, the Environ-mental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved Dow’s Enlist system and Monsanto’s Xtend systems, using new formulations of dicamba and 2,4-D on cotton plants. The EPA also approved registration for BASF’s Engenia in late 2016 to help farmers control herbicide resistant weeds. F EBRUARY 3 , 2017 Call MULE SX™ 4x4 SE MULE PRO-DXT™ MULE PRO-FX™ EPS LE MULE PRO-FXT™ EPS MULE SX™ 4X4 XC CAMO The soil on your farm or ranch is rich with nutrients and di minerals…. l AND underground pipelines. CALL 811 BEFORE YOU DIG, in order to notify utility companies who will be affected by the excavation. The company will respond to your call and mark their facilities in your work area. This is a FREE service. No one digs more dirt than America’s Farmers and Ranchers. No matter if you’re deep tilling, drain tiling, ditch cleaning or moving heavy loads. Understanding what’s below ground will help you DIG SAFELY CALL 811 BEFORE YOU DIG, EVERY TIME!!! BUILT KAWASAKI STRONG Accessorized units shown LEGENDARY TORQUE AND POWER UNMATCHED CAPABILITY AND VERSATILITY NEW BRAUNFELS WOODS CYCLE COUNTRY 830-606-9828 WoodsCycleCountry.com KATY WILD WEST MOTOPLEX 281-392-8850 wildwestmotoplex.com www.call811.com www.kindermorgan.com/public_awareness KAWASAKI CARES: Read Owner’s Manual and all on-product warnings. Always wear protective gear appropriate for the use of this vehicle. Never operate under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Protect the environment. The Kawasaki MULE™ side x side is an off-highway vehicle only, and is not designed, equipped or manufactured for use on public streets, roads or highways. Obey the laws and regulations that control the use of your vehicle. ©2016 Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. WARN ® ProVantage™/ Vantage™ — WARN ® , the WARN logo and THE RED HOOK STRAP are registered trademarks of Warn Industries, Inc. ProVantage™ and Vantage™ are trademarks of Warn Industries, Inc. 16 17OMTJ4WML6X5C

New Tools Available to Fight Herbicide-Resistant Weeds

Shala Watson

As farmers prepare for planting season, low commodity prices aren’t the only challenge they face. Farmers across the state are also battling a serious mounting problem—herbicide-resistant weeds.

There are seven weeds listed in Texas as resistant to one herbicide or another, according to Dr. Peter Dotray, AgriLife Extension specialist and weed science professor at Texas Tech University.

Palmer amaranth, also known as pigweed, and waterhemp are two of the main weeds growers are concerned about.

Pigweed is a concern for growers in the Corpus Christi area and northward, as well as in the High Plains. Waterhemp is found closer to Houston and Central Texas.

Roundup Ready technology is no longer as effective in the battle against these weeds.

“As growers continued to kind of over-rely on Roundup, we now are seeing resistant populations of both the waterhemp and the palmer amaranth across the state,” Dotray said. “So what used to be a very effective herbicide and a very good cotton germplasm today is just not as effective.”

But there are new tools farmers can use in 2017 to help slow the spread of the herbicide-resistant weeds.

In recent months, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved Dow’s Enlist system and Monsanto’s Xtend systems, using new formulations of dicamba and 2,4-D on cotton plants. The EPA also approved registration for BASF’s Engenia in late 2016 to help farmers control herbicide resistant weeds.

Farmers in 34 states, including Texas, will now be allowed to use Enlist Duo on corn, soybeans and cotton.

“New technologies are exciting, even though dicamba has been around since the 1950s, and 2,4-D has been around since the 1940s,” Dotray said. “But we’ve never been able to use them in a cotton-growing season. It’s only because of the improved germplasm that allows us to use it.”

But experts urge famers to use the new technology with caution and stress the importance of following label directions to avoid drift accidents and eventually leading to the same issue with Roundup.

“We know, given enough time and enough repeated applications, that the weeds are going to become resistant to those herbicides as well,” Dr. Josh Mc-Ginty, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension agronomist in Corpus Christi, said.

Overuse is not as concerning as misuse of the new technology.

“I think this is an exciting time for some new technology to help us control our weeds,” Dotray said. “It’s also a time of concern, because we’re dealing with the potential of some misapplications that can be extremely harmful.”

Cotton and soybeans are sensitive to 2,4-D, so spray drift is an issue.

“If we don’t do this right, this is a big black eye on agriculture,” Dotray said. “It is my hope that folks who choose to use it are going to be very respectful of the technology. They are going to use it as they should.”

McGinty said accidents last year with illegal dicamba in the mid-South drove the two-year label registration on these herbicides.

“At the end of that two-year period, EPA is likely going to reevaluate how effective the technology has been,” McGinty said. “And if there’s been mass problems, there’s the potential that they will pull the label from these new technologies.”

The labels on these herbicides are restrictive and the language will be unfamiliar to many farmers, Dotray said.

“Specific spray nozzles, specific things that can or can’t be put in the tank like other surfactants,” Dotray said. “They’re going to need to be very careful with wind speed and the direction the wind is blowing towards susceptible plants and susceptible habitats.”

A good resource farmers can use to help ensure they apply these new technologies correctly can be found in the Texas Row Crop newsletter. Farmers can enter their email address and sign up at www.agrilife.org/texasrowcrops. The February newsletter will outline applications and best management practices for herbicides.

The information will be updated as requirements change.

Another tool to assist farmers to identify herbicide-resistant fields is “Flag the Technology” by putting a flag at the entry point of any field. Each flag represents a different technology, so the applicator knows what variety the crop is.

“For example, one of the colored flags is a teal color and that represents Enlist technology,” Dotray said. “So if the applicator has dicamba in the tank, well that’s not an appropriate herbicide to use. It’s a reminder of what the cotton variety is to make sure that what we are spraying is appropriate for that technology.”

The mobile app will be available to pesticide applicators. Individuals must register to use the system and specify a field location and add the crop or sensitive nature of the area.

The success of the “Flag the Technology” program depends on how many farmers will adopt the technology.

Low commodity prices also have an impact on how willing farmers are to adapt these new technologies.

“Price will certainly play a role in the overall adoption of these new technologies and the new herbicides,” Dotray said.

Read the full article at http://texasagriculture.texasfarmbureau.org/article/New+Tools+Available+to+Fight+Herbicide-Resistant+Weeds/2703963/381757/article.html.

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