What is the Iowa Pest Resistance Management Program?
Upon reviewing the data collected in the study, researchers concluded that corn growers struggle with “balancing the conflicting roles of environmental stewardship and successful businessperson. In reality, short-term profit-making trumps the environmental stewardship role.”
Focus weeds for Harrison County Pest Resistance Project
The Harrison County Pest Resistance Project initially began in 2017 as a result of the introduction of Palmer amaranth in the county four years prior. As most farmers in the area are grappling with herbicide resistant weeds but do not have Palmer in their fields yet, the project was expanded to include waterhemp, marestail, and giant ragweed. Read below to learn more about these weeds and why they were included in this project.
The Harrison County landscape includes both hills and valleys. Farming techniques differ depending on the topography of the farm because what works in the valleys does not work in the hills and vice versa. Tillage is not used in the Loess Hills but it is in the bottoms.As seen in 2019, flooding on the Missouri River bottoms is a significant challenge that affects management. Deposition of sand affects how locals farm, and weed seeds are spread during flooding as well. The high water table affects other aspects of management.
The Harrison County Pest Resistance Project initially began in 2017 as a result of the introduction of Palmer amaranth in the county four years prior. As most farmers in the area are grappling with herbicide resistant weeds but do not have Palmer in their fields yet, the project was expanded to include waterhemp, marestail, giant ragweed and disease trials as well. Read below to learn more about local disease and weeds and why they were included in this project.
What’s the deal with pest resistance?
Pests – insects, disease and weeds -- are a regular part of life. For large areas, our pest removal practices have included spraying safe pesticides or relying on plant genetics to manage them. But many pests can reproduce quickly and often, allowing them to evolve and develop tolerance to some of our easiest, cheapest and most effective management tools. Some pests are completely tolerant to some pesticides. When this occurs, it is called pest resistance, because they can now resist and survive a specific management tactic that previously controlled them.
Pest resistance is a natural process. However, when it comes to something as valuable as our food and when there’s no easy way to fight a pest, it can lead to yield reductions and increasing costs. Farmers, landowners, scientists, private businesses, and groups of individuals are finding ways to preserve our management tools, prevent pest resistance, and develop management strategies for already resistant pests.