Wednesday, August 24, 2011
When I say Bayer you may think of aspirin but Bayer is a German based company that has become a large player in crop science.
Yesterday I participated in the Bayer Crop Science Respect the Rotation Ohio Tour about an hour east of us at Deer Creek State Park. Farmers, seedsmen and farm service people from Ohio, Indiana and other states came to learn about weed resistance. Deer Creek was the meeting point as we spent the afternoon on four Croswell buses to the Bluck Farm to the south and Lower Gywnn Farm to the north.
The farm to the south had the first giant ragweed resistant to glyphosate or Round Up herbicide so big escaped weeds were everywhere. My eyes got puffy and I sneezed. Four weed scientists practically begged the group to change our ways on weed control and help others do the same. Weeds are becoming resistant to herbicides faster than we can spray them.
The farm to the north was bright green from recent rains the other farm never got. There was disease in the beans and corn so the message there was how fungicides could make farmers more money by protecting their crops. There were plenty of resistant weeds to around there too.
The operator took the buses back the long farm lane to view Lower Gwynn farm, a 3000 acre block of beautiful soil he has tiled and drained. He told us Orelton Farm near Farm Science Review was bought by Bill Gates. I think the price was around $8000 per acre but he mentioned the $11,000 acre ground that recently sold in Ohio. It had 50 bidders and amazingly the last six bidders were all farmers.
So tenant farm or larged managed farms, they both had resistant weeds. I have been fighting them now for seven years and I see the battle is getting no easier. We have tall waterhemp moving in from the west and palmer amaranth or palmer pigweed moving in from the south on top of their cousin, redroot pigweed all resistant to ALS and glyphosate chemistry.
Cover crops make more sense every day.