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 InputsDuPont Pioneer: Corn Belt P and K Levels Lagging
August 24, 2016
A new DuPont Pioneer study conducted across 12 Corn Belt states demonstrates that growers may be leaving profit potential in Read More
Monsanto sign
Crop InputsCould a Monsanto-Bayer Union Be 2 Weeks from Fruition?
August 24, 2016
Via STLToday.com (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch): Merger talks between Monsanto Co. and Bayer AG are advancing after a series of Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsChemChina, Syngenta Receive Clearance From CFIUS
August 22, 2016
China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina) and Syngenta have announced that the companies have received clearance on their proposed transaction from the Read More
Crop InputsEU Glyphosate Controversy Heating Up Yet Again
August 17, 2016
The battle over glyphosate rages on in Europe, creating a lot of question marks over whether the herbicide will continue Read More
Trending Articles
ASMARK 2016 Retailers Live! Tour - CPS
CropLife 100CPS Acquires Texas Retail Operation
August 23, 2016
Crop Production Services (CPS) has acquired the assets of Larry’s Chemical and Spray, Inc., for an undisclosed amount in an Read More
Key Cooperative Marcus Construction Steel Building
Retail FacilitiesMarcus Construction Builds High-Speed Agronomy Center For Key Cooperative
July 7, 2016
Key Cooperative in Grinnell, IA, wanted a state-of-the-art Agronomy Center to better serve its customers. Marcus Construction delivered exactly that. Read More
Heritage Cooperative
Retail FacilitiesKahler Automation Designs State-Of-The-Art Facility For Heritage Cooperative
July 4, 2016
Heritage Cooperative in Marysville, OH, needed an efficient liquid, dry and grain facility to serve the many needs of their Read More
The Andersons Waterloo
ManagementFirst Indiana Facility Certified Under 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program
June 27, 2016
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that The Andersons, Inc.’s Waterloo, IN, facility has been added to its Read More
Food IT
Industry NewsCalifornia Event Will Mix Ag And Tech Professionals To Explore IT Solutions
June 20, 2016
Silicon Valley is hot on agriculture, and an upcoming event in California will bring together the food and tech industries Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Eric SfiligojWhat’s Next For Monsanto?
May 31, 2016
For the folks at Monsanto’s headquarters in St. Louis, MO, it has been an eventful few weeks. Back on May Read More
Latest News
2016 ShowStopper | Case IH Patriot 4440 Sprayer
Equipment5 Show-stopping Products On Display At 2016 MAGIE
August 26, 2016
For 10 years now, visitors to the yearly Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) show have been tasked with voting for Read More
Crop InputsDuPont Pioneer: Corn Belt P and K Levels Lagging
August 24, 2016
A new DuPont Pioneer study conducted across 12 Corn Belt states demonstrates that growers may be leaving profit potential in Read More
Monsanto sign
Crop InputsCould a Monsanto-Bayer Union Be 2 Weeks from Fruition?
August 24, 2016
Via STLToday.com (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch): Merger talks between Monsanto Co. and Bayer AG are advancing after a series of Read More
EquipmentCase IH Debuts Nutri-Tiller 955 Strip-Till Applicator
August 24, 2016
With strip-till continuing to expand across new acres, Case IH designed the new Nutri-Tiller 955 strip-till applicator to help producers Read More
EquipmentCase Launches Aim Command FLEX, 25th Anniversary Patrio…
August 24, 2016
Case IH announces new AIM Command FLEX advanced spray technology for greater application accuracy, as well as special 25th Anniversary Read More
ASMARK 2016 Retailers Live! Tour - CPS
CropLife 100CPS Acquires Texas Retail Operation
August 23, 2016
Crop Production Services (CPS) has acquired the assets of Larry’s Chemical and Spray, Inc., for an undisclosed amount in an Read More
PrecisionAg Video Conference
Precision AgVideo: PrecisionAg Vision Conference
August 22, 2016
A Strategic Conference Focused on the Future of Farm Digitization and Precision Agriculture Visit precisionagvision.com and register today! Read More
Young Corn Plants
Industry NewsOABA Welcomes Nicole Wallace As Communication & Adm…
August 22, 2016
The Ohio AgriBusiness Association has hired Nicole Wallace as its communication and administrative coordinator. Wallace will help provide comprehensive communication Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsChemChina, Syngenta Receive Clearance From CFIUS
August 22, 2016
China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina) and Syngenta have announced that the companies have received clearance on their proposed transaction from the Read More
ManagementAg Industry Shows and Rumors
August 18, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about the upcoming trade show schedule, crop protection merger updates, and content for Read More
MAGIE 2015
EquipmentMAGIE Takes The Pulse Of The Ag Retail Industry
August 18, 2016
Every year, one of the major highlights of my career as an ag journalist is attending the Midwest AG Industries Read More
MAGIE 2015 Overview
EquipmentPride In Professionalism On Display At MAGIE
August 18, 2016
The Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association (IFCA) is proud to partner with CropLife IRON and continue the tradition of bringing Read More
SprayersJenner Ag To Debut 25th Anniversary Edition Case IH Pat…
August 18, 2016
Visitors at the 2016 Midwest Ag Industries Exhibition (MAGIE) in Bloomington, IL, will have a unique photo opportunity, as Jenner Read More
Crop InputsEU Glyphosate Controversy Heating Up Yet Again
August 17, 2016
The battle over glyphosate rages on in Europe, creating a lot of question marks over whether the herbicide will continue Read More
Industry NewsNew Partnership Provides Improved Representation At Ohi…
August 16, 2016
The Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) has retained Belinda Jones of Capitol Consulting Group, Inc. (CCG) for government relations work in Read More
Tissue testing
FertilizerMosaic: 6 Tips For Better Crop Nutrition In Corn
August 16, 2016
Late in the crop season is a good time to assess visual nutrient deficiencies and ensure early- and mid-season deficiencies Read More
WebinarsWebinar Schedule
August 14, 2016
Register for one of our upcoming Webinars or access our archive of past Webinars to view recordings of presentations that may be of interest to you. Read More
Dow DuPont
Crop InputsDowDuPont Update: EU Takes Closer Look at Merger
August 12, 2016
Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co. face months of haggling with European Union antitrust regulators who opened an in-depth probe Read More