The National Cotton Council is hosting a new online Weed Resistance Learning Module to help cotton producers stay ahead of the game in fighting weed resistance.

Available at http://www.cotton.
org/tech/pest/wrm/
, the learning module is free to users and is sponsored by The Cotton Foundation with financial support from Monsanto, Syngenta and Dow AgroSciences. The course’s overall aim is providing producers a resource on how to prevent the occurrence of herbicide-resistant weeds, thus helping them maintain long-term stewardship of their acreage. Practical guidelines are offered such as preventing weeds from setting seed during harvest.

“Some weeds may have withstood herbicide treatments, and it is imperative that growers scout their fields for those weeds,” said NCC Chairman Allen Helms, a Clarkedale, Ark., cotton producer. “Particularly at harvest, it is important to prevent the weed seed from being dispersed throughout the field or to other fields. It’s also a good time to note where problems occurred throughout fields during the growing season for help in developing next season’s strategy.”

Helms said that cotton growers will appreciate this interactive course and the around-the-clock access they have to it as they evaluate their current weed management program or consider developing a program.

Andy Jordan, vice president of the NCC’s Technical Services, said weeds that have become resistant to herbicides can cause problems for producers for years, including reduced yields and increased control costs. This course, he said, details the fundamentals of weed resistance management practices, such as rotating herbicides and using mixtures or sequential applications of herbicides with different modes of action — steps that can prevent resistant weeds from causing havoc in the fields.

“A cotton farmer’s goal is to prevent herbicide-resistant weeds from showing up in the fields,” said Ginger Light, course author and researcher at Texas Tech University. “This course provides the farmer with information to achieve that goal. It gives farmers an introduction to what herbicide-resistant weeds are and the types of growing conditions that cause herbicide-resistant weeds to occur. This tool also explains the types of resistance and how they develop. If producers know the background information on weeds’ capabilities, it will help them solve the problem of resistance more efficiently.”

Andy Kendig, University of Missouri Extension weed specialist, said, “herbicide resistance is a major concern, and, unfortunately, it can be very complicated. This course does a good job of explaining resistance and resistance prevention so growers can take appropriate steps to prevent resistance on their farms.”

The Weed Resistance Learning Module also provides general resource information on cotton herbicides and a list of contacts in each state for producers who have questions on management practices.

For more information, call the NCC at (901) 274-9030.