Land Stewardship Drives Resistance Management

In January 2014, Stratus surveyed 1,100 Canadian farmers to find out their practices and attitudes about weed resistance management. We found that when it comes to managing resistance, it's clear that most farmers have a positive, proactive attitude.

April 2, 2014

Most farmers know that the land they work is the most important tool in their toolbox, which is why many have implemented land stewardship plans. Those plans will help to keep their farm operations healthy and viable for years to come. More importantly, since they – and possibly their children – plan to continue working that land, they know the importance of preventing pervasive problems, like herbicide resistant weeds.

In January 2014, Stratus surveyed 1,100 Canadian farmers to find out their practices and attitudes about weed resistance management.

The survey revealed that an increasing number of farmers expect that weed resistance will have a large impact on their farm operations in the future. Today, only 24 percent of Eastern Canadian farmers and 21 percent of Western Canadian farmers say that weed resistance has an impact on their farming operation. When asked what the level of impact will be in a few years, those numbers increase substantially. 

“Farmers recognize that weed resistance could become a worse problem in the future, and that’s why many are prepared to invest in preventative measures today,” says Mike Weddel of Stratus.

When it comes to managing resistance, it’s clear that most farmers have a positive, proactive attitude. In order to prevent resistance, they are willing to spend time learning and implementing the necessary changes on-farm. The majority of farmers surveyed by Stratus agreed with the following statement: “I am willing to spend more money now in order to protect the herbicide tools that are currently available.”

“To prevent resistance, farmers avoid using herbicides with the same mode of action on the same fields year after year.  Sometimes this means that they have to use more expensive products.  But many farmers are okay with that because they know it’s necessary to protect the land for future generations,” says Weddel.

The majority of farmers in Canada are also willing to change their farming practices in order to prevent the development of weed resistance. Not surprisingly, those who see themselves as “early adopters” are more likely to change their farming practices in order to prevent resistance.

Ag retailers play a critical role in assisting Canadian farmers with the adoption of weed resistance management practices on their farms. Local ag retailers, along with consultants and agronomists, are by far the most credible sources of information for farmers. In Western Canada, 30 percent of farmers rely on their retailer or crop advisor when planning herbicide management programs with resistance in mind. In Eastern Canada, that number is even higher at 46 percent.

“Farmers, with support from ag retailers, consultants and herbicide manufacturers, are taking the steps necessary to mitigate resistance problems in the future,” says Weddel.  As one farmer said “We all need to work together to manage this problem."


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