RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (February 7, 2012) — From Nebraska to Ohio and down
to the Bootheel of Missouri, more than 1,000 farmers, retailers and crop consultants attended
seven Respect the Rotation™ events throughout the Midwest this summer. There they saw
firsthand the impact glyphosate-resistant waterhemp, Palmer amaranth, giant ragweed and
kochia can have on their profits. Attendees left ready to make a change on their own farms.
In cooperation with university partners, Bayer CropScience hosted field days to demonstrate the
urgent need for proactive management of difficult to control weeds with resistance to glyphosate
herbicides. Respect the Rotation is an initiative backed by Bayer that promotes rotation of
crops, herbicide-tolerant traits and modes of action to encourage greater diversity in herbicide
programs and reinforce the principles of Integrated Weed Management.
University weed scientists, industry experts and farmers discussed the extent of glyphosate
weed resistance across the Midwest. Farmers and specialists traveled from the Mid-South to
share stories of hoe crews chopping weeds, acres destroyed because of overwhelming weed
pressure and how glyphosate herbicides simply no longer work.
Luckily, in the Midwest there are still options available. “Just because we have glyphosate-
resistant weeds out there doesn’t mean that glyphosate is not a useful herbicide at all,” said
Lowell Sandell, weed scientist at the University of Nebraska. “We need to maintain its
usefulness through active resistance management. Rotation of modes of action and
diversification of our weed management programs both from a herbicide and a cultural practices
standpoint is critical.”
Andy Hurst, technical brand manager for Bayer CropScience, agrees. “Diversity is vitally
important to profitability,” he said. “The use of glyphosate in all major row crops this past year
was 275 million acres treated. That exceeded the next closest active ingredient applied by
nearly six-fold. Switching to another herbicide-tolerant trait like LibertyLink allows for use of a different chemical mode of action with Liberty herbicide. That puts producers ahead of weed
Shift of Mindset
Respect the Rotation event attendees realized the time has come to make a change.
“I didn’t realize the South had such bad weed problems,” said Jared McLaughlin, an Ohio famer
at the Clarksburg, Ohio, Respect the Rotation event. “And I think that was one of the things that
really drove home the message of resistance management – paying attention to it before it gets
to the point that we have chopping crews out here to take care of our weed problems.”
Where a multi-faceted management approach was the norm 15 years ago, younger farmers
have not had to use a diversified herbicide system to control weeds.
“My generation is known as the glyphosate babies. It’s all we grew up with – glyphosate,
glyphosate, glyphosate,” said Jason Weirich, University of Missouri weed scientist at the Delta
Research Center. “Everyone is looking at these different cropping systems about to be
introduced to the market and none of those is a silver bullet. None of those is going to be as
easy or as effective as some people might be saying or hoping they are.”
To better manage weeds, farmers need to integrate additional weed management tools, said
Bryan Young, Southern Illinois University weed scientist, at the Red Bud, Ill. field day. The idea
seems simple enough, but some are still reluctant to look beyond glyphosate.
“Even if you haven’t seen resistance, if you have fields that you’re managing with Roundup that
just doesn’t seem to work, one year you can say it was environmental. Two years you might still
argue that. If you’ve had three years of glyphosate that just doesn’t work as well today as in
1998, that’s a hint from the weeds that you need to change.”
Al Ludwig, a farmer from north central Iowa, knows rotation is a key component to stay ahead of
“We try to rotate our crops through glyphosate at the most every other year,” Ludwig said. “We’ll
rotate and use Laudis on our corn, Sometimes we have fields go three years in a row without
Roundup on them. In my personal use, Roundup continues to work very well every-other-year,
as does my Ignite.”
Greg Kerber, a central Illinois farmer, believes price is a key hurdle for farmers to get beyond a
“No one wants to spend any extra money, but it seems like money is no object until no amount
of money will make the problem go away,” Kerber said. “That’s what they have down south.
They’d love for their $40 or $50 an acre program to actually give them control.”
Kerber sees the value in diversity on his farm. “This year, I still planted Roundup Ready corn,
but I used a full rate of Corvus to give myself more time and freedom to spray the rest of my
acres as needed. My LibertyLink soybean acres are where I have the heaviest waterhemp
pressure, and all those acres have a pre-emergence treatment down early. You know, going
back to a little more scouting and greater management is a not a bad thing. It’s probably where
we should’ve been all along. I think that makes us better farmers.”
Respect the Rotation
The only way to remain profitable in the face of glyphosate-resistant weeds is to Respect the
Rotation – rotation of crops, herbicide modes of action and herbicide-tolerant traits to increase
diversity in every facet of an operation. A wide-variety of educational tools and information is
The Respect the Rotation initiative doesn’t stop with summer field days. Throughout the winter
months is the perfect time to evaluate the success of current weed management programs and
start to build a plan for 2012. At the same time Bayer will continue to promote the messages of
Respect the Rotation at meetings and in individual conversations.
“Bayer brought in experts to speak at tradeshows, seed companies and at farmer meetings in
2011,” said Bayer’s Hurst. “In 2012, we plan to continue that, as well as the Respect the
Rotation events, and hope to engage an even greater audience of farmers, retailers and seed
sellers throughout the Midwest and Mid-South. As more people understand and employ the
message of rotation and diversity, we will see cleaner fields and higher yields.”
For more information about Respect the Rotation, visit www.bayercropscience.us/our-
commitment/respect-the-rotation.com or talk to your local Bayer CropScience representative or
call 1-866-99-BAYER (1-866-992-2937).
Tweet This: #RtR2011 shows damage of resistant #waterhemp in Midwest. http://ow.ly/7esMQ
Motivates growers to be proactive. http://ow.ly/7esA3 #pigweed.
- Respect the Rotation 2011 Recap Video
- Respect the Rotation Online Press Kits
- Bayer Initiative: Respect the Rotation
- Bayer Flickr Page
- Bayer YouTube Page
- LibertyLink Product Page
- Ignite Product Page
About Bayer CropScience
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials.
Bayer CropScience, a subgroup of Bayer AG with annual sales of EUR 6.830 billion (2010), is one of the world’s
leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and
traits. The company offers an outstanding range of products and extensive service backup for modern, sustainable
agriculture and for non-agricultural applications. Bayer CropScience has a global workforce of 20,700 and is
represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at: www.press.bayercropscience.com.
This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by
Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead
to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the
company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports, which are
available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these
forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.
Bayer CropScience LP, 2 T.W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709. Always read and follow label
instructions. Bayer, the Bayer Cross, Ignite, Laudis, Liberty, LibertyLink and Respect the Rotation are registered
trademarks of Bayer. Ignite, Laudis and Liberty are not registered in all states. Roundup and Roundup Ready are
trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC. For additional product information call toll-free 1-866-99-BAYER (1-866-
992-2937) or visit our website at www.BayerCropScience.us
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