KBTX - From the Ground Up - Headlines

From the Ground Up - Herbicide Resistance in Weeds

Weeds that are resistant to herbicides aren't new and until now there have only been some spotty issues here in Texas, but there's a type of pig weed called water hemp that has become a huge problem in the southeastern United States.

"For years I've been talking about the possibility of this happening, but right now it's in our back door so to speak, so we've got to start addressing it."

Paul Baumann is a weed specialist with Texas Agrilife Extension.

"If our applications are not working like they should be working, that's assuming that we use them at the proper rate, and the proper timing, then we got to be on top of it an use other methods for controlling them, and again whether that's alternative chemistries for that particular crop, or whether that's use of the hoe. If you let one resistant water hemp go to seed, for example, you could shed four or five hundred thousand seed off that one plant and it can get really nasty really quick."

Weeds need to be controlled for a number of reasons "Whether they're resistant or not, they're not only going to be a drag on the yield, but they're also going to be a harvest issue. If you want to go through that field with an expensive harvesting tool, whether that's a combine or a picker or stripper, you've got to get it out of there, or sacrifice that portion of the field.

In the Brazos Bottom here, they rotate crops, they rotate herbicides because of that, and that's largely been responsible for us not having much of an issue up 'til now." We asked locally where this problem fit on a scale of one to ten.

"I'd say we were at a probably one to two in our area, but I would like the growers to think we're at a six or a seven, because again it can go from a one or a two to a six or a seven real fast."

I'm Ashley Batey, looking at Brazos Valley agriculture, From The Ground Up.


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