Bayer CropScience AG

Respect the Rotation: Glyphosate-Resistant Weeds One Year Later


Source: Bayer CropScience AG

Glyphosate-resistant weeds devastate Southern farms, imminent throughout Midwest.
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., July 19, 2011 /PR Newswire/ --

Growers, consultants, weed scientists, researchers and government agency officials who participated in the July 2010 launch of the Respect the Rotation™ initiative have taken measureable steps toward progress in the fight against the proliferation of glyphosate-resistant weeds. But university experts still believe the system will fail if current practices continue.

There is enough of an ominous threat that government officials have taken an interest in the topic. With that knowledge, one initiative to come from the 2010 Respect the Rotation field day urges growers to remember management practices from a time before glyphosate resistance was widespread and diverse management practices discouraged the development, and additional cost, of resistant weeds.

'Glyphosate-resistant marestail costs soybean growers an added $11.50 per acre,' said Jason Norsworthy, associate professor of weed science at the University of Arkansas and a key member of the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) who is working with the Environmental Protection Agency to develop guidelines for proper resistance management practices. 'Glyphosate-resistant Palmer pigweed costs cotton growers $19.45 per acre. Resistance is impacting land values, conservation tillage and more. The system, the way it is currently set up, is not sustainable.'

Norsworthy and other WSSA members are working diligently with other government agencies to develop incentives for proper stewardship of glyphosate-tolerant technologies and encourage proactive management strategies. This cooperation will spur producers to stay ahead of weed resistance and raise a profitable crop.

In a move to make rotation easier for growers, Bayer CropScience is voluntarily labeling all herbicide modes of action on herbicide containers for easy identification. 'If growers can see the numbering system associated with various chemistries and easily identify what mode of action they're applying, they can better identify opportunities for herbicide rotation,' said Andy Hurst, product manager for Bayer CropScience. 'Without that knowledge, it is easy to apply the same mode of action over and over, encouraging the development of resistance.'

Flag the Technology

Another proposal from the 2010 Respect the Rotation event is the Flag the Technology program spearheaded by the University of Arkansas. Colored flags are placed around a field to help prevent herbicide misapplication and to warn of technology that is sensitive to potential off-target chemical drift. The colored flags help applicators easily identify what technology is planted to a particular field.

The University of Arkansas has promoted the effort and helped standardize the size of the flags and what each flag color means. LibertyLink® fields are identified with green flags, signifying it's tolerant to Ignite® herbicide. Roundup Ready® varieties are marked with white flags. Conventional fields are identified with the color red.

Reports indicate fields have been saved from accidental misapplication by the colored flags.

'This will help growers be conscientious of what's in their fields and their neighbors' fields,' Hurst said. 'Rotation encourages diversity and leads to stronger management against resistant weeds. The flag system offers growers who rotate herbicide-tolerant traits peace of mind.'

Looking Ahead

Midwest attendees of the 2010 Respect the Rotation meetings were shocked at the scope and breadth of glyphosate-resistant Palmer pigweed in the Mid-South. To see firsthand how much money was invested in Palmer pigweed control and to watch fields being plowed under because of out-of-control weeds, was a wakeup call to many.

In 2011, Bayer CropScience is taking the Respect the Rotation story to the Midwest. Building on the success of last year's Respect the Rotation event, this year there will be six field days throughout the Midwest. Topics will center on weed resistance – what the problem is and how to manage it – on sites from Nebraska to Ohio to southern Illinois.

'Producers are offered an intimate look at what weed resistance looks like locally and what it means for their farms,' Hurst says. 'We've teamed with university experts across the Midwest to set up plots that demonstrate glyphosate weed resistance and the best programs available for control based on local conditions.'

Respect the Rotation is an initiative to elevate the importance and grower adoption of herbicide diversity. The Respect the Rotation Field Tours scheduled for 2011 are bringing the issues to the doorsteps of those who can benefit most from its message. 'We're moving in a positive direction and offering choices to break the cycle of continuous glyphosate use,' Hurst says. 'I'm looking forward to making even bigger strides this year.'

2011 Respect the Rotation events will be held at:

Tuscola, Ill.

July 11, 12


Portageville, Mo.

August 2


Red Bud, Ill.

August 9, 10


Clarksburg, Ohio

August 23


Beaver Crossing, Neb.

August 24


Ames, Iowa

Sept. 13, 14


To find out more about weed resistance management or Respect the Rotation, visit our website at

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About Bayer CropScience

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience, a subgroup of Bayer AG with annual sales of EUR 6.830 billion (2010), is one of the world's leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and traits. The company offers an outstanding range of products and extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture and for non-agricultural applications. Bayer CropScience has a global workforce of 20,700 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at:  

Forward-looking statement

This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer's public reports, which are available on the Bayer website at The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

Bayer CropScience LP, 2 T.W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709. Always read and follow label instructions. Bayer, the Bayer Cross, Ignite, LibertyLink and Respect the Rotation are registered trademarks of Bayer. Roundup Ready is a trademark of Monsanto Technology LLC. Ignite is not registered in all states. For additional product information call toll-free 1-866-99-BAYER (1-866-992-2937) or visit our website at

SOURCE Bayer CropScience LP

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