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What weed resistance can cost you.

It's a fact: resistant weeds can devastate your farm and profitability. It doesn't seem likely. It doesn't seem like a threat. Until it happens. This is the unfortunate reality for many growers in two major agricultural nations that have a lot in common with Canada: Australia and the USA.

Here's the good news for Canada. Effective actions taken today will pay off in the long run for both your crops - and your bottom line.

Resistant weed management costs around the world

With an effective integrated weed management plan, Canadian growers can avoid some of the additional costs that US and Australian growers have incurred due to herbicide resistance. Here’s a snapshot:

 

  • Growers in the US purchased inexpensive glyphosate for years
  • Today, they need to rely on different, more expensive herbicides
  • Some have even incurred an extra $150/acre for hand roguing
  • With no weed control, herbicide resistance included, there is an automatic 30% yield decrease (Joerg Ellmans)
  • Increased management costs and yield loss due to resistant weeds are costing Australian growers on average an additional 27%/acre (Source: 2014/2015 Grains Development Research Corporation)
 

Listen to their stories

Watch the following videos for a more in-depth look into the cost and consequence of herbicide resistance.

 

Case Study: a cautionary tale from down under.

Australian agronomist Josh Lade has witnessed the most severe effects of herbicide resistance first-hand. "In Australia, herbicide resistance has been a terrible problem for years," says Lade.

In Australia, herbicide resistance has been a terrible problem for years

"It's common practice for growers now to implement some sort of Harvest Weed Seed Control (HWSC) such as the use of chaff carts to collect and burn weeds after harvest, or...the innovative use of cage mills to destroy any resistant/herbicide-surviving weeds". This HWSC strategy (versus using herbicides) has increased many grower costs including fuel, equipment maintenance, labour and time management.

"It's affected the entire way they farm. When Australian growers make cropping decisions for the upcoming year, their resistant weed spectrum is one of the primary considerations. It's not a question of what they want to grow, it's about what they're able to grow."

Five years ago, Josh came to Canada to work on a large grain farm in Saskatchewan. Lade recalls that there wasn't a lot of resistance concerns when he first arrived. "...when I first started, almost everyone said it wasn't a problem because the fall frosts and the harsh winter climate would get the weeds. I believe this may have delayed it somewhat, but resistance is definitely here now."

According to recent weed surveys, Canada currently has over 60 different resistant weed biotypes and the numbers continue to grow.

When asked what advice Josh would give to Canadian growers, "Be proactive and vigilant," he says. "Learn from our mistakes. Canada is still in a good place to effectively manage resistance, so growers here need to put a plan in place while they still have the tools available."

Learn from our mistakes. Canada is still in a good place to effectively manage resistance...

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