Proactive Resistance Management

Figure 8: Field being sprayed. (Bob Nichols, NRCS)

What role do producers play in plant resistance management?  What role should they play?  Farmers can implement a number of fairly straight-forward management practices to help prevent weed populations evolving resistance to dicamba. 

  1. The first is to rotate crops.
  2. The second is to rotate herbicides that are each effective on the weeds in the field.  This could consist of using two different herbicides within a year, or to use a particular herbicide only every other year.
  3. The third is to use a combination of herbicides in the spray tank where at least two of the herbicides control the weeds in the field.  The likelihood of any individual possessing traits that would cause resistance to two herbicides is very small – consequently it is very unlikely that there will be survivors that can produce offspring (see Beckie, 2006 for more information). 

Understanding the response of a kochia population to a selection pressure, in this case dicamba, helps scientists better make predictions about the potential for genetic changes of the population.  The work that Javier Crespo and Dr. Bernards have done with kochia and dicamba is very useful for farmers as they develop plans for controlling weeds in their fields.