Herbicide resistance costs Canadian growers an estimated $1.1 to $1.5 billion annually due to increased herbicide use and decreased yield and quality. It’s essential to implement weed management programs that provide near-perfect weed control to maximize farm profitability and limit weed seed return to the soil. Ultimately, this will reduce the emergence of herbicide resistant weeds.
HERBICIDE RESISTANCE BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES (BMPs)
It’s critical to adopt best practices to manage resistance and protect crop yield and quality today, ensuring sustainable crop production for the future. Resistance best management practices (BMPs) include a combination of cultural, mechanical, biological, and chemical control measures. Start today, and take it one field at a time.
Rotating crops within a field each growing season is essential to managing herbicide resistance.
- Crop rotation allows for rotation of herbicide groups, making it more challenging for weeds to develop resistance to repeated use of the same mode of action.
- Rotate crops with different seeding and harvesting dates. Risk of weed resistance is shown to be the lowest in fields with fall-seeded crops, forage crops, or where three or more crop types (e.g. cereal, oilseed, pulse) are grown over a six-year period.
- Include crops that compete well with weeds. Plant a range of different crops including a mix of dicots and monocots, winter and spring planted, and annuals and perennials in your rotation.
Rotate herbicides within and between growing seasons. Use herbicide mixtures and rotate the mixtures for even more impact.
- Rotate the use of one herbicide group with other herbicide group(s) that control the same weeds in a field. Rotate groups both during a growing season and across years in a field. “Keep the weeds guessing as to what’s coming next,” says Hugh Beckie, former Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC).
- Herbicide mixtures – the combination of two or more herbicides having different modes of action applied as a single mixture – should be used to delay the onset of resistance to any herbicide. You can mix various combinations of herbicides according to label instructions. Use the recommended label rate of each herbicide for maximum weed kill.
- Rotate from one herbicide mix to another during a growing season and from one season to the next. It’s easy for weeds to become resistant to simple, predictable weed control. Mixing and rotating makes it unpredictable for weeds and creates diversity for your crop plan.
- For a mixture to be truly multi-mode of action, both modes of action need to be effective on the same weed species. If you are targeting one species, ensure the herbicides you are using target that weed species.
- Consider herbicide layering if there are weed escapes after a soil-applied herbicide in the fall or early spring. For example, follow up with a post-emergent application with different modes of action that target the same weed species during the growing season. This can improve weed control and increase your return on investment even in the absence of resistance.
1. To manage herbicide resistance, which of the following products would be considered a true multi-mode of action product?¹
1 Herbicide Resistance: Farmer Attitudes, Opinions and Use Patterns, Dow AgroSciences Canada, 2017
2. Please select the BEST description of a true multi-mode of action herbicide:
Using below-label rates of herbicides can contribute to development of resistance. Use the recommended rate, timing and water volume indicated on the label.
- Using below-label rates of herbicides can contribute to development of resistance. Weeds that survive below-label dosages can develop resistance. Survey your weed populations before spraying so that your weed management is field- and site- specific. Scout fields after herbicide application so that you know how successful you have been in controlling the targeted weeds. This can result in cost savings by reducing herbicide use.
- For example, in the northern Great Plains, where wild oat is the target weed, site-specific herbicide application on spring cereal crops resulted in higher profits compared to uniform herbicide application.¹
- When scouting, be aware that isolated weeds listed on the herbicide label that survive application should be dealt with. They may not significantly affect yield at this point, but now is the best time to manage in-field weed escapes.
- Be mindful of spray techniques.
- Low travel and wind speeds will allow for more uniform herbicide application
- Consider boom stability for more uniform droplet deposit
- Keep in mind that sub lethal doses can occur repeatedly in a field on the periphery or outside of turns and lead to herbicide tolerance
1 Van Wychen LR, Luschei EC, Bussan AJ et Maxwell BD. Accuracy and cost eﬀectiveness of GPS-assisted wild oat mapping in spring cereal crops. WeedSci 50:120–129 (2002).
Which of the following can contribute herbicide tolerance:
Watch the Resistance Management School videos to learn more!
Dr. Peter Sikkema discusses the status of herbicide-resistant weeds in Ontario and provides growers with some best management practices.
Kelvin Heppner talks to Rob Gulden about seeding rates in this episode of the Resistance Management School.
Lauren Benoit from the University of Guelph talks about how to manage multiple resistance in water hemp, discovered earlier this year in Ontario.
Mike Cowbrough of OMAFRA joins us to discuss testing for herbicide resistance.
Dr. Linda Hall discusses the state of herbicide resistance in Western Canada, and what growers can do about it.
Manitoba farmer Gunther Jochum talks about their wild oat issues in this episode of the Resistance Management School.
How do you assess your risk of developing resistant weeds on your farm?
In this episode we’re talking about how herbicide resistant weeds spread across Ontario and the continent.