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Farmers turning to herbicide alternatives in the face of resistant weeds

Farmers are looking beyond herbicides as resistant weeds continue to plague many Midwestern fields.

Iowa State University Extension weed specialist Prashant Jha says the tools to combat weeds are limited.

“Like when we deal with soybeans with glyphosate and PPO resistance, waterhemp populations are a concern. So there is a good bit of acceptance here in Iowa (by) producers regarding using some cultural strategies, and mechanical strategies even.”

He tells Brownfield row-crop cultivation can be effective, and cover crops have shown promising weed suppression.

Iowa State is also researching narrower row spacing.

“For example, using 13 inch (for) soybeans with early canopy development, it’s an organic complimentary strategy that helps to improve the herbicide efficacy in weed control and prevent failures.”

Jha says an emerging weed control method has to do with harvest weed seed control, and points to success in Australia using a seed destructor that he thinks might have a place in the U.S.

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