Waterhemp jumps to No. 1 weed to watch in Midwest

July 09, 2012

BASF survey reflects rapid spread of glyphosate-resistant waterhemp

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, July 9, 2012 -- Glyphosate-resistant waterhemp is making a troublesome mark in the Midwest, so much so that it has become the new No.1 weed to watch for farmers in the region.

When BASF asked Midwest farmers in 2010 about weeds that most concerned them, the majority called out common lambsquarters as their main worry. Marestail was second. Ragweed species came in third, and common waterhemp was fourth.

In the latest 2012 survey, one in five growers listed waterhemp as the top glyphosate-resistant weed they expect to show up on their farms during the 2012 season, with marestail and lambsquarters listed as the No. 2 and 3 weeds to watch, respectively.

The dramatic shift was no surprise to Dan Westberg, Ph.D., Technical Market Manager, at BASF. “In 2011, we saw glyphosate-resistant waterhemp explode across the Midwest,” said Westberg. “It was a tipping point for farmers and another sign that we have to think beyond glyphosate alone for weed control.”

Spreads like wildfire
Waterhemp, by its very biology, has the ability to cause major problems if left uncontrolled.

“Waterhemp is a prolific seed producer that can create detrimental seed banks farmers must deal with for years,” said Westberg. “Waterhemp also emerges throughout the season, so it’s a weed that is poised to spread like wildfire – which makes the resistant populations especially dangerous.”

Even more troubling, waterhemp populations with resistance to multiple herbicide sites of action are also rapidly expanding. Of the 10 states that have now confirmed glyphosate-resistant waterhemp, three have waterhemp populations with resistance to multiple sites of action.1

Corn and soybean waterhemp solutions
For growers looking to control waterhemp in their crops, it is essential to update weed control programs with new strategies, such as using multiple herbicide sites of action and utilizing effective preemergence herbicides.

“With waterhemp, starting clean with a good residual herbicide that offers an additional site of action is key to staying clean all season long,” said Westberg. “Early season weed control helps reduce the seed bank and minimizes weed pressure for better in-season control with post-emerge herbicides.”

The BASF herbicide portfolio offers the most corn and soybean herbicide sites of action in the industry, and in 2012, BASF launched two new residual herbicides to help growers control glyphosate-resistant waterhemp.

OpTill® PRO herbicide, powered by Kixor® herbicide technology, targets waterhemp in soybeans with three different sites of action that provide enhanced burndown plus residual control. In corn, recently registered Zidua® herbicide is a new soil-applied herbicide that provides longer residual control of grasses and broadleaf weeds than other herbicides on the market.

“As an industry leader, BASF is dedicated to providing solutions, technical support and educational tools to help growers implement a weed management program based on herbicide best practices,” said Westberg. “This includes proactive weed resistance management, such as utilizing herbicides with different sites of action, and planning appropriately to help ensure effective, on-target applications.”

To learn more about the spread of waterhemp or herbicide best practices, visit http://on.basf.com/weedbp.

For more information on BASF Crop Protection products, visit http://agproducts.basf.us, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

About the Crop Protection division

With sales of € 4.1 billion in 2011, BASF’s Crop Protection division is a leader in crop protection and a strong partner to the farming industry providing well-established and innovative fungicides, insecticides and herbicides. Farmers use these products and services to improve crop yields and crop quality. Other uses include public health, structural/urban pest control, turf and ornamental plants, vegetation management, and forestry. BASF aims to turn knowledge rapidly into market success. The vision of BASF’s Crop Protection division is to be the world’s leading innovator, optimizing agricultural production, improving nutrition, and thus enhancing the quality of life for a growing world population. Further information can be found on the web at www.agro.basf.com or follow us on twitter: www.twitter.com/basfagro.

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BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 16,000 employees in North America, and had sales of $20 billion in 2011. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, visit www.basf.us.

BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. We combine economic success, social responsibility and environmental protection. Through science and innovation we enable our customers in almost all industries to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and system solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring healthy food and nutrition and helping to improve the quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF posted sales of about €73.5 billion in 2011 and had more than 111,000 employees as of the end of the year. Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.

1 According to www.weedscience.org.

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