BASF is calling on growers to take a “one weed is one too many” approach to weed management to help increase yield and mitigate the intensifying effects of climate change and pigweed resilience.
According to a recent study conducted by Kynetec for BASF Agricultural Solutions, two-thirds of growers have experienced pigweed resistance within the last 3-6 years, and 43% say they worry about pigweed on a weekly basis.
Additionally, new research from the University of Illinois and the USDA Agricultural Research Service shows that as climate change causes warmer, drier weather to become more frequent, soybean crops have become increasingly susceptible to yield loss from uncontrolled and resistant weeds.
“Pigweed resistance is a major economic issue on fields all across the country,” says Bryan Young, professor of weed science at Purdue University and Operation Weed Eradication University Advisor. “Growers need to plan quickly because this weed is developing such resistance to today’s chemistry. We are at a point where we need to start thinking about pigweed control much differently.”
Although growers report currently achieving approximately 90% control of weeds, two-thirds of farmers agree that a zero-tolerance approach is required because the last weed standing is the strongest, most capable and the most genetically resistant weed on the farm.
BASF has partnered with AGCO, Raven Industries and leading weed scientists to create this initiative.
Operation Weed Eradication urges the use of cultural practices, chemical control and eradication diligence.
Participating growers report the biggest benefits of pigweed control are increased yield, long-term sustainability and lessening future input costs, according to the study.
Third generation farmer Tim Couser of Greenfield Farms in Nevada, Iowa, has partnered with BASF to share his experience addressing resistant pigweed on-farm. He says his goal is to make the message of weed resistance more prevalent.
“We feel that if we don't, farmers are going to make mistakes that in the near-term don't hurt us, but long-term are very severe," Couser says.
For more information about Operation Weed Eradication, visit operationweederadication.com.