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We believe that development of pest resistance including weeds, insects and diseases is the single biggest threat facing production agriculture for the foreseeable future. Use of pesticides does not cause resistance to develop neither does it cause pests to mutate. But rather the over reliance on using single chemistries repeatedly on the same field and same pest year over year selects for the natural biotypes that exist in every population of pests that is naturally resistant. We simply kill off the susceptible ones each year and select for the resistant ones until such a time they dominate the field population and become resistant to the pesticide and it no longer appears to work.

The chemistry has not changed the pest population has due to our management of the pesticide applied.

The term pesticide includes herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. The over use of any can start us down the path of selecting for resistance biotypes.

The tactic we need to adopt and have for some time is to use tank mixes of different chemistries with different modes of action that work on the pest. This approach greatly reduces selection pressure for resistant biotypes. The only exception to this is for insecticides. It is more important to deliver a lethal dose the first time with a single mode of action then rotate to another insecticide for the next generation of pest.

We must protect the crop protection chemistry or risk running out of control options. There no new modes of action in the pipeline in the short term and if or when they do come to market, they will have very strict stewardship guidelines to follow and protect the longevity of the chemistry. Every form of control places a selection pressure on a pest population.

Weed resistance is our most common issue we face, we currently have Canada Fleabane resistant to glyphosate (Group 9) and most Group 2 chemistries . Water Hemp is another that is already resistant to 2,5,9 and 14 chemistries. We need to accept that weed control cost will increase as we must adopt a two-pass control system with multiple modes of action. A burndown application with residual chemistry followed in crop with an additional final pass to clean up. We need to adopt a zero weed seed return policy and start cleaning up waste areas to prevent seeds blowing in from surrounding areas.

Our staff receives training on a continuous basis to stay current on control practices. One of the services we offer is Crop Planning. In that exercise we start with the farm, field, crop and make specific product recommendations based on the pests involved and make sure we are using multiple modes of action that are effective in controlling the pest. Time well spent with us.

To understand the enormity of the task and the scope of efforts made by dedicated industry participants and academics to support the science-based approach to pest management worldwide and understand the modes of action and risks of resistance development can be found here in these international working groups




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