From a personal perspective, Chuck Foresman, manager for weed resistance strategies for Syngenta, has been working on the phenomenon that now is a reality – glyphosate weed resistance – since 2002. He strives to educate producers and help them understand evolving resistance and what they can do about it.
“Obviously, the war on glyphosate resistance can’t be fought by one person,” he says. “Consultants, retailers and county Extension agents across the United States are playing a vital role in helping producers combat weed resistance, and Syngenta believes they deserve to be recognized for their efforts. That is why we launched the Resistance Fighter of the Year Program.”
Syngenta launched the program in 2009. Eligible recipients include retailers, consultants and Extension agents who have successfully implemented resistance management practices with producers in their area.
Putting years of experience to work
For 2010, the Southern Resistance Fighter of the Year is Keith Baioni, Business Manager of Crop Protection Products for Jimmy Sanders, Inc., headquartered in Cleveland, Miss.
“Although I very much enjoy the operations side of the business, which I have been involved in for the past seven years, my roots are still in the agronomy side of the business,” he says. “I began working for Sanders in 1988 as a field sales representative at our retail location in Hollandale, Miss. For 15 years, I had the privilege to work with some of the most productive growers in the Mississippi Delta, and it was during those years that I realized that I had chosen the right career path and, without question, the right company to work for.”
As Foresman points out, successfully managing resistant weeds is one of the main issues that farmers face today, and the producers in Baioni’s area are no exception.
“We have been, and still are, developing resistance management programs for glyphosate-resistant horseweed, Palmer pigweed and Italian ryegrass in our trade area,” he says. “The horseweed problem has been an issue for us for a while, and we know how to counter it. But, now that pigweed and ryegrass are on the radar, we have to plan and implement strategies that manage all three at once. As you might imagine, it takes more analysis, time and effort.”
Baioni says his team will continue to provide awareness around resistance management directly to the producer this year and in the future. Specific plans include the F.A.R.M.’N. program, EyeNeedInfo visual information systems and educational seminars in collaboration with industry experts.
How F.A.R.M.’N. helps farmers
F.A.R.M.’N. (Fall Applied Resistance Management Now) is an idea that Baioni came up with to help farmers and his sales staff be able to identify with something that has a reference to resistance management.
“When reaching out to growers, I promote the concept of being proactive rather than reactive and work with them to develop and implement strategies to combat resistance,” he explains. “I believe awareness of weed resistance is at an all time high right now.”
The F.A.R.M.’N. program is a good example of this effort. It helps producers in his area prevent weeds from producing seed and ensure a clean start in the spring through fall application of residual herbicides. The program highlights the importance of controlling weed populations with multiple modes of action and managing resistance all year round.
“Producers need to be proactive and develop resistance management programs that are tailor-made to the specific weed issues on their farms,” Baioni says. “In that process, they must give careful consideration to their product mix, choosing a combination of products that provides the highest probability of managing their resistant weed problems, and, in that mix, they should be alternating chemistries (active ingredients).
“Crop rotation and tillage must also be part of the strategy,” he adds. “Growers cannot afford to rely on a single process in order to be successful; they must incorporate all. Growers must also develop management strategies for field borders, which will provide for a continuous weed seed bank.”
Like Baioni, there are others out there on the front line of resistance issues. If someone in your area is managing resistance proactively, please consider nominating him or her for this special recognition. Information for the 2012 Resistance Fighter of the Year Program will be available this fall on www.resistancefighteroftheyear.com.