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

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
HerbicidesScouting Key To Next Season’s Soybean Herbicide Program
August 12, 2014
When growing soybeans, growers need to think ahead to stay one step ahead of weeds. That means examining weed threats and evaluating which herbicides work best. Read More

Trending Articles

Equipment2014 Product Of The Year Voting
September 19, 2014
Many new products were introduced to the ag retail marketplace this year. From this group, CropLife IRON and its consulting partners have selected five finalists for the Product of the Year award. Please cast your vote today to help us determine the winner. 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
CropLife 100CHS To Build $3 Billion Fertilizer Plant In North Dakota
September 5, 2014
The fertilizer plant in Spiritwood will be the single largest investment in CHS history, as well as the single largest private investment project ever undertaken in North Dakota. Read More
EquipmentNew Holland Acquires Miller-St. Nazianz
September 3, 2014
The assets of Miller acquired as part of the transaction will become part of New Holland Agriculture, a CNH Industrial brand, building on a successful four-year partnership between the two companies. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires East Kansas Chemical
September 2, 2014
Ranked 82nd on the CropLife 100, East Kansas Chemical will operate as part of Pinnacle's Performance Agriculture brand. Read More
MAGIE 2014 ShowStopper
EquipmentJohn Deere Again Wins MAGIE ShowStopper Award
August 25, 2014
For the second consecutive year, John Deere was honored at the Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) for its new R4045 sprayer. Read More

Latest News

Crop InputsSyngenta Appoints New Chief Operating Officer
September 29, 2014
Jon Parr will succeed retiring COO John Atkin at the end of the year. Read More
CropLife 100South Dakota Wheat Growers To Add Grain-Agronomy Facili…
September 26, 2014
Planned to be constructed in Kennebec, the facility will be located along the soon-to-be rehabilitated line of heavy-rail service from Chamberlain to Presho. Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Announces Vice President Appointments
September 25, 2014
Two individuals have been appointed Vice President positions on the GROWMARK executive team. Read More
FertilizerFertilizer Industry Organizations Join Global Alliance …
September 25, 2014
The Fertilizer Institute, the International Plant Nutrition Institute and the International Fertilizer Industry Association are encouraging the industry to promote the proper use of fertilizer products to minimize their environmental impact. Read More
Precision AgARA Organized Precision Forum Hits Capitol Hill
September 24, 2014
The Coalition for the Advancement of Precision Agriculture (CAPA) hosted its inaugural Precision Ag Forum, Sept. 18, in Washington, D.C. Read More
FertilizerFactors To Consider When Placing Fertilizer With Seed
September 24, 2014
The type of crop, fertilizer source, row spacing and soil environment all affect how much fertilizer can be safely applied with seed. Read More
FertilizerSidedressing Manure Into Corn Has Promising Results
September 24, 2014
Applying manure to growing crops can boost yields, reduce nutrient losses and give livestock producers another window of time to apply manure to farm fields. Read More
FertilizerWhen To Sample Manure For Analysis
September 24, 2014
Because the goal is to collect a sample that represents the manure actually being applied, the best time to sample is during loading or field application. Here's why. Read More
Syngenta
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Faces Second Lawsuit Over Agrisure Viptera Cor…
September 23, 2014
A second company has sued Syngenta AG over sales of genetically modified corn seed not approved by China. Read More
StewardshipCover Crops Field Guide For Farmers Expanded
September 23, 2014
Farmers interested in planting cover crops to improve soil health now have an updated and expanded resource in the second edition of the Midwest Cover Crops Field Guide. Read More
HerbicidesArysta LifeScience Launches Contest For Wheat Growers
September 23, 2014
The Flush after Flush Photo Finish contest encourages farmers across the U.S. to participate through Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #FlushAfterFlush. Read More
FertilizerCF Industries Confirms Merger Of Equals Discussions Wit…
September 23, 2014
CF Industries Holdings, Inc. has confirmed that it is in preliminary discussions with Yara International regarding a potential merger of equals transaction. Read More
StewardshipProgram To Examine Ag-Related Practices, Policies To Pr…
September 22, 2014
A panel discussion on October 14 will include a significant discussion on key issues and solutions related to all aspects of harmful algal blooms. Read More
Eric SfiligojIt’s Product Of The Year Voting Season
September 22, 2014
Readers of CropLife IRON will choose 2014’s best new product over the next month. Read More
Palmer pigweed in soybean stubble
HerbicidesValent To Discontinue Gangster Herbicide
September 22, 2014
Valent will discontinue Gangster Herbicide after the 2015 growing season as growers can now deploy Fierce XLT herbicide in soybeans. Read More
Equipment2014 Product Of The Year Voting
September 19, 2014
Many new products were introduced to the ag retail marketplace this year. From this group, CropLife IRON and its consulting partners have selected five finalists for the Product of the Year award. Please cast your vote today to help us determine the winner. Read More
Equipment2014 Farm Science Review Crowd Tops 2013 Show
September 19, 2014
The 52nd annual Ohio State University Farm Science Review welcomed more than 130,000 farmers, industry professionals, FFA students and agricultural enthusiasts during the three-day event. Read More
Seed/BiotechUSDA Approves Enlist Following Rigorous Review
September 18, 2014
Dow AgroSciences now awaits EPA registration of Enlist Duo herbicide, the companion herbicide to the Enlist traits, which is expected in the near future. Read More