Respect the Rotation Events Motivate Farmers

| 2/10/2012 12:23:49 PM

From Nebraska to Ohio and down to the Bootheel of Missouri, more than 1,000 farmers, retailers and crop consultants attended seven Respect the Rotation™ events throughout the Midwest this summer. There they saw firsthand the impact glyphosate-resistant waterhemp, Palmer amaranth, giant ragweed and kochia can have on their profits. Attendees left ready to make a change on their own farms.

In cooperation with university partners, Bayer CropScience hosted field days to demonstrate the urgent need for proactive management of difficult to control weeds with resistance to glyphosate herbicides. Respect the Rotation is an initiative backed by Bayer that promotes rotation of crops, herbicide-tolerant traits and modes of action to encourage greater diversity in herbicide programs and reinforce the principles of Integrated Weed Management.

University weed scientists, industry experts and farmers discussed the extent of glyphosate weed resistance across the Midwest. Farmers and specialists traveled from the Mid-South to share stories of hoe crews chopping weeds, acres destroyed because of overwhelming weed pressure and how glyphosate herbicides simply no longer work.

Luckily, in the Midwest there are still options available. “Just because we have glyphosateresistant weeds out there doesn’t mean that glyphosate is not a useful herbicide at all,” said Lowell Sandell, weed scientist at the University of Nebraska. “We need to maintain its usefulness through active resistance management. Rotation of modes of action and diversification of our weed management programs both from a herbicide and a cultural practices standpoint is critical.”

Andy Hurst, technical brand manager for Bayer CropScience, agrees. “Diversity is vitally important to profitability,” he said. “The use of glyphosate in all major row crops this past year was 275 million acres treated. That exceeded the next closest active ingredient applied by nearly six-fold. Switching to another herbicide-tolerant trait like LibertyLink allows for use of a different chemical mode of action with Liberty herbicide. That puts producers ahead of weed pressure.”

Shift of MindsetRespect the Rotation event attendees realized the time has come to make a change.