4 Bad Gambles In Resistance Management

Dr. Ken Smith, University of Arkansas weed specialist, says pigweed resistance to glyphosate may explode in the state in 2009.
Dr. Ken Smith, University of Arkansas weed specialist, says pigweed resistance to glyphosate may explode in the state in 2009.

Anyone raising crops and/or produce knows that doing so is a gamble. Will rain come when the crop needs it or will the season prove to be a drought? Will you keep ahead of weeds or will they get ahead of you? Will the market offer a good price or will prices take a tumble? However, each year growers also face another gamble – the resistance gamble. This article will address some different manifestations of that gamble.

Bad Gamble No. 1: Betting that resistance will develop in an economically insignificant pest.

Production lore is populated with some interesting examples of resistance development in economically insignificant pests. In such tales, the pest was minor, a once effective product ceased to work, and yet the resistance impact was muted because there was little-to-no dollar impact. However, growers should remember that currently minor pests are not necessarily resigned to insignificance. Previously referenced production lore is also populated with interesting examples of minor pests that became major pests. Resistance development in an otherwise minor pest should always be viewed as a resistance “shot across the bow.”

Bad Gamble No. 2: Betting the resistant pest will revert back to normal.

Pest populations occasionally become susceptible to a pesticide when they have not been exposed to it for a while. However, there are three problems with “betting on” this approach to resistance. First, this approach willingly discards pest management tools for a period of time. Our pest management goal should always be “lots of tools in a big pest management tool box” not “periodic cannibalization of the pest management tool box.” Second, this approach counts on resistant offspring being less fit than susceptible offspring once pesticide exposure is eliminated. Yet, pest management history is littered with examples to the contrary. Finally, those making this argument often contradict themselves. Resistance development (a population-wide genetic /biological shift) is often deemed nearly impossible by individuals who say that “reversion to normal” is commonplace. Yet, the latter is also a population-wide genetic/biological shift. Can we really have it both ways?

Bad Gamble No. 3: Betting that a complicated mode of action/low-to-moderate resistance rating will ward off problems.

Some products attack a narrow site of action. Pests may rapidly (and often do) develop resistance to such “simple” products. However, this does not mean that “complicated” products are devoid of resistance concern. For example, DMI fungicides (the family to which triazole fungicides belong) are typically deemed to possess a low-to-moderate resistance risk because they have a very complicated site of action. Yet, a brief survey of fruit tree literature to our south and turf management literature to our north will detect evidence of DMI resistance despite the “complicated nature” of such products. Furthermore, such “complicated” products may manifest resistance as a gradual loss in efficacy rather than a sudden loss in efficacy. This season-by-season reduction in effectiveness, this covert loss of efficacy, may be a more troubling scenario because it often avoids detection until the resistance scenario has become dire.

Bad Gamble No. 4: Betting on “another product” if resistance develops.

Rotating between products and/or rotating sites of action (modes of action) can be components of a comprehensive resistance management program. However, such an approach does not eliminate resistance risk. Waterhemp (a pigweed relative) provides the best example of this. Products in the ALS family no longer work against most Illinois waterhemp populations, and as resistance developed, our industry shifted to other products. ALS resistance is now accompanied by glyphosate resistance, PPO resistance, and HPPD resistance in some populations. Addressing resistance by merely shifting to a different product runs the risk of removing many pesticide options simultaneously.

The previously mentioned “bad gambles” should remind growers that their best bet is to use IPM (Integrated Pest Management). IPM programs detect real problems, count on adaptive pests, and attack real problems with various techniques that sometimes take the place of chemicals or various techniques that sometimes accompany the use of chemicals. In many ways, IPM programs “bet” on resistance and that “bet” is pretty reliable.

Leave a Reply

Crop Inputs Stories
Crop InputsPlatform Specialty Products To Acquire Arysta LifeScience
October 20, 2014
Once the acquisition is complete, Platform Specialty Products will combine Arysta LifeScience with previously acquired companies Agriphar and Chemtura Crop Solutions. Read More
MicronutrientsMicronutrients Going Macro
September 9, 2014
Between 2014’s fantastic growing conditions and a heightened awareness on plant nutrition, the major players in micronutrients are gearing up for another big year. Read More
FertilizerFall Fertility 2014: Forecasting Fertilizer Use
September 7, 2014
Great crops this year have tapped the soil, and fall work is definitely called for, but how challenging will that get? Read More
FungicidesSudden Death Syndrome, Brown Stem Rot Reported In Indiana Soybeans
September 3, 2014
Farmers and retailers should be watching for symptoms of these two diseases over the next few weeks as they are best managed through preventative methods. Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Acquires Minnesota Retailer
April 14, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC, ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100,  has successfully acquired Liebl Ag, LLC in Ada, MN.  Read More
CropLife 100CHS, Aurora Cooperative Complete Fertilizer Storage, Grain Shuttle Loading Facility
April 13, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading cooperative and ranked No. 5 on the CropLife 100, and Aurora Cooperative (ranked No. 21) Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Acquires Missouri Refined Fuels Terminal
April 2, 2015
Bloomington, IL-based GROWMARK and Magellan Pipeline Co. have entered into an agreement in which GROWMARK will acquire the refined fuels Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Acquires South Dakota Retailer
April 2, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co.’s Agribusiness Division, a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution and marketing of plant protection, seed Read More
CropLife 100The McGregor Co. Closes Smith-Kem Acquisition
April 2, 2015
The McGregor Co. — ranked No. 16 on the CropLife 100 list of largest U.S. ag retailers — has completed Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Latest News
StewardshipTFI Announces Renewed Financial Commitment To Fertilize…
April 24, 2015
Today, The Fertilizer Institute’s (TFI) President Chris Jahn announced that TFI and over 100 partners will more than double existing Read More
Industry NewsMACA Names New Ambassador Coordinator
April 23, 2015
The Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) has named Michelle Kilper as its new Ambassador Coordinator. Michelle is a graduate of Read More
ManagementAg Retailer’s Role In Local Policy Making; Raising The …
April 23, 2015
CropLife’s Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj review their recent travels, precision ag efforts in Washington, DC, and the role of Read More
TMX-2050 In-Cab Display Launch Run Screen
Precision AgIn-Cab Computing 2015: Connectivity, Compatibility Take…
April 23, 2015
In terms of in-cab computing solutions for the agriculture market, companies like Case IH, Topcon, Trimble, John Deere and Raven Read More
USDA
StewardshipUSDA Outlines Building Blocks For Climate Smart Agricul…
April 23, 2015
Today, the USDA has announced a comprehensive and detailed approach to support farmers, ranchers, and forest land owners in their Read More
Industry NewsArysta LifeScience Welcomes New Territory Sales Manager
April 23, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced the addition of Kaitlyn Acaster to the Canadian sales team. Acaster will fill the Read More
Crop InputsMarrone Bio Innovations Opens New Research Greenhouse
April 23, 2015
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBI), a leading provider of bio-based pest management and plant health products for the agriculture, turf Read More
Crop InputsDuPont Acquires Taxon Biosciences
April 23, 2015
DuPont has agreed to acquire Taxon Biosciences, Inc., a leading microbiome discovery company. This acquisition will build on DuPont’s in-house capabilities Read More
Farmer on tablet
ManagementStudy: Consumers Don’t Care If U.S. Farmers Feed …
April 23, 2015
“We’re feeding the world” is a mantra often used by those involved in farming and food to build support for Read More
Industry NewsCorporate Responsibility Magazine Names Monsanto One Of…
April 22, 2015
Corporate Responsibility Magazine (CR Magazine) named Monsanto Co. to its 100 Best Corporate Citizens List for 2015. This is the Read More
FertilizerSpring Nitrogen Management: Form And Timing
April 22, 2015
Most corn producers have planned their spring nitrogen program for 2015, and many have already started to implement their program. Read More
FMC 3Rive 3D
Industry NewsFMC Corp. Completes Acquisition Of Cheminova
April 22, 2015
FMC Corp. has completed the closing of its acquisition of Cheminova A/S, a multinational crop protection company based in Denmark Read More
SoftwareSyngenta Expands AgriEdge Excelsior Nationwide For 2015
April 22, 2015
Growers across the country can now take the guesswork out of improving their farm’s production, land value, farm stewardship and Read More
Cornfield near Sioux City Iowa
HerbicidesU.S. Regulators May Start Testing Food For Glyphosate R…
April 21, 2015
U.S. regulators may start testing food products for residues of the world’s most widely used herbicide, EPA told Reuters’ Carey Read More
FungicidesBRANDT Adds Zonix Biofungicide To Portfolio
April 21, 2015
BRANDT has added Zonix biofungicide to its rapidly expanding line of organic and sustainable products. Zonix is a contact fungicide that Read More
ManagementMissouri Experts: Spring Planting Slow Start Won’…
April 20, 2015
In the first of the agronomy teleconferences with Extension specialists, University of Missouri Extension climatologist Pat Guinan said the slow Read More
Carl Casale of CHS
Industry NewsCooperative CHS Reports Net Income Of $471.5 Million Fo…
April 20, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, has announced company net income Read More
Industry NewsCHS Insurance Names New Director Of Sales
April 17, 2015
Bryan Lewis has been named director of sales for CHS Insurance, the nation’s largest agribusiness insurance broker and full-service insurance Read More