The old saw, “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it,” attributed to George Santayana, should be made into a bumper sticker and slapped onto the side of every spray rig in the cotton belt as a constant reminder that overuse of new chemistry will shorten its useful life.
Overuse of Roundup Ready technology resulted in what Todd Baughman, Oklahoma State University Extension agronomist, refers to as Public enemy No. 1: herbicide-resistant pigweed.
Speaking via Skype to those attending the Red River Crops Conference at Childress, Texas, he said the trouble glyphosate-resistant weeds have caused farmers should be reason enough to adopt a complete weed management program for cotton and other crops on which producers are using new herbicide-tolerant technology.
“Remember when we could control large pigweed plants with Roundup?” he says. “No longer. That’s why we promote use of residual herbicides in combination with new technologies to help limit development of resistance to dicamba and 2, 4-D. We want to keep those products around as long as possible.”
Pigweed (Palmer amaranth) has been a troublesome weed in Southwest crops for some time, Baughman notes. “We’ve dealt with it for a long time — and we know that some of the old technology still works.”
Old school products, he says, will be useful in managing pigweed and other weed species in conjunction with new technologies — XtendFlex and Enlist. “These are exciting, but we need to use the same principles we depended on before Roundup Ready crops were available. Otherwise, we risk losing the technology.”