When talking to farmers, we all have certain years that come to mind. “2005-The year of Pigweed resistance to roundup,” “2013-Wet summer with rank hay,” “2016-The year of no rain.”
It is funny how these periods stick to our mind for one reason or another, but this spring started off cool, turned dry for three weeks, and then the rain never seemed to stop. In Dawson, GA we received 11.21 inches of rain for 21 consecutive days of measurable rainfall in the month of May. This has caused us some significant problems.
I have seen fields that had pre-plant fertilizer down for cotton that the farmer couldn’t get into the field to plant during all the rain and pigweeds were hip deep. We have cotton that is shin high and pigweeds twice as tall due to the rain. Some fields got planted but not sprayed due to the wet field conditions, and our wheat needed harvesting the day the rain started.
My point is that if we are not exceptionally careful with our herbicide management this year, while dealing with weeds that are exceptionally vigorous due to the recent rainfall, we may be creating a nightmare of resistance in our future.
One shot of dicamba on some young cotton will bend over a big pigweed, but it is certainly not going to kill the entire population of pigweeds in a field.
We have to farm with the future in the forefront of our minds, so we can protect the technologies that allow us to continue farming, otherwise we will have no adequate controls to combat pests of all kinds. This year, more than any time in recent history, rotating modes of action, utilizing a layby rig, using cover crops, and being timely are going to help more than ever before because we certainly have a mess to clean up, and it is only the beginning of the growing season.
After all, we will have to be at the top of our game this year, or 2018 could be the year that “We lost Dicamba to Pigweeds.”