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Herbicide Resistance: How it's Connected to Seeding

It’s no secret that the issue of herbicide resistance has taken on increased visibility over the past twenty years.  Some areas in the United States have fields containing weeds that are resistant to four different herbicide groups.  In western Canada, we have seen fields not only containing resistance to groups 1 and 2 but also group 9.  Fortunately, the increased discussion on herbicide resistance has led to action from both government and industry.  Thanks to continuing education, in the form of seminars and clinics, growers are more aware of the importance of using multiple herbicide groups per year and planning a sustainable herbicide rotation in future years.

So what does all this have to do with seeding equipment?  One of the actions in preventing resistance is to spray the crops at the correct stage for both the crop and the weeds.  When crop emergence is at different stages, the producer needs to make a decision when to spray in order to minimize the risk of crop injury. Unfortunately, the weeds targeted may not be at their ideal growth time and spraying weeds out of stage is one of the factors that leads to herbicide resistance.  Seed Hawk’s even emergence due to its precision seed and fertilizer placement can help in this regard.  If a crop emerges evenly, the producer can wait until the weeds are at the proper stage for herbicide application.

Obviously, there are many other climate-related factors that contribute to such situations but using quality equipment for the job is something growers can do to help mitigate this risk.  If growers incorporate more mechanical and cultural controls into their weed management system, they will drastically reduce the possibility of herbicide resistance.  Doing so will allow them to grow different crops with many different chemistry options in order to best achieve the goals set out for their farm.

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