(Posted Fri. Oct 2nd, 2015)
The National Corn Growers Association took part in an important conversation on resistance management, at the Global Weed Symposium held in Paris, France. During the four-day meeting, which was hosted by Bayer CropScience and brought together leading academics, government officials, industry leaders and representation from grower-led associations, NCGA President Chip Bowling highlighted the growing weed resistance issues as personally witnessed on his Maryland farm as part of a panel discussion with researchers from the United States and Brazil.
Through discussions, it became clear that farmers face similar challenges across the globe in this area. With diverse participation inclusive of areas where biotechnology is and is not available, the participants found common issues indicating that weed resistance is not a result of GM technology but a larger problem that will require a proactive, integrated approach.
“Weed resistance is a growing problem for farmers in the United States and abroad,” said Bowling. “To best combat this challenge head on, we must first recognize what is and is not the source of resistance. While everyone recognizes herbicides are among the greatest tools in production agriculture, it is equally as important to recognize no product is a ‘silver bullet.’ As one Brazilian researcher noted, GMOs don't create weed resistance, they only reveal weed resistance. As farmers, we will have to adopt an integrated approach to manage weeds that will require us, no matter the tools we use, to proactively monitor and tackle situations on our farms as they evolve.”
Also in attendance from NCGA were CEO Chris Novak and Vice President of Production and Sustainability Paul Bertels. Representatives from the American Soybean Association, United Soybean Board, National Cotton Council, National Association of Wheat Growers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Pesticide Policy, crop consultants and U.S. universities and industry also brought national agricultural perspective to these discussions.