Friday, March 11, 2011

Herbicide Issues Article | by Kelly Downing

I really like this article, from Delta Farm Press. It points out three key issues for all producers, which we should really consider as we prepare to go to the field.

First, herbicide resistance is a very important and ominous factor for all of agriculture. As Mr. Baldwin points out in the article, we should make it a foundational part of our operations to use practices to minimize or delay the onset of such resistance. This includes crop rotations, herbicide mode-of-action rotations, tank mixes and the inclusion of residual products. There do not appear to be too many new chemistries coming out in the near future, so we need to be good stewards and use what we have to the greatest effect and longevity.

Second, I think the new University of Arkansas “Flag the Technology” program is a good idea, one that deserves cooperation. It seems to be a simple, “low-tech,” low-cost way to effectively avoid application errors. In today’s high-tech ag climate, it is important to remember that we should use Best Management Practices (BMP); “best,” however, does not mean “most expensive” or “latest technology.” It is nice when it can mean something as simple as a flag.

Finally, the best advice he gives is the simplest: communicate. Sometimes we allow ourselves to get so busy that we forget the importance of simple things like the old “pickup meeting” with neighboring growers. When we stop talking, we start making assumptions about what others are doing and why. And, as one of my favorite maxims states: “Assumption is the mother of all screw-ups!” So, let’s not forget the importance of talking with our neighbors. It not only helps avoid problems, it just makes life better.

Discussion Box Challenge

What are your thoughts on the herbicide either mentioned or not in the article? What is your opinion of the new "Flag the Technology" program? Put your thoughts on in the Discussion Box!