Wage a War on Weeds
As a business owner, I tend to focus on the bottom line. The bottom line here is that farmers need more weapons in the war against resistance weeds.
Weeds are more than unsightly. They’re more than a nuisance… They’re costly! Weeds are yield robbers, meaning there is less crop (i.e. food) produced come harvest time. Yield losses can accumulate very rapidly when weeds compete too long with corn, according to a recent article in The Bulletin.
Controlling weeds early with a properly timed application of a post-emergence herbicide is key. The problem is not all post-emergence herbicides are as effective as they used to be; glyphosate-resistant weeds are a growing problem.
“Sixty percent of farmers reported they have seen a decrease in the effectiveness of the glyphosate system – compared to 45 percent just 24 months ago,” said Damon Palmer, Dow AgroSciences U.S. commercial leader for the Enlist™ Weed Control System.
Farmers need alternative weed control systems, and that’s one of the reasons that I’m so excited when new tools to fight weed resistance come along like the Enlist weed control system (2,4-D) and the new Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Xtend (Dicamba).
It’s frustrating to see a new tool like Enlist Corn receive unsavory media attention, leading to public outcry based on fear rather than fact. Just a few days ago CBS News aired a story entitled, “Controversy flares over ‘Agent Orange corn’.”
CBS compares the new Enlist Weed Control System with Agent Orange, which was widely used during the Vietnam War. Some people even use “2, 4-D” and “Agent Orange” interchangeably, but that’s not correct.
The chemical 2,4-D has been used safely in this country since it was initially registered back in the 1947 and was reregistered in 2005. While Agent Orange did contain 2,4-D like Enlist does, the two products are very different. Enlist does not contain the 2,4,5-T component of the herbicide or its contaminant, dioxin, as Agent Orange did.
Let’s focus on the facts and wage the war against weeds, not against the companies that make the weed control products or the farmers who plant food for a growing world population.