Harrison County Project Finds Local Weeds Resist Common Herbicides

Larry Buss. Photo courtesy of Iowa Corn Growers Association.

AMES, Iowa — Initial tests on weed seeds collected from Harrison County farm fields show resistance to common herbicides.

“These results suggest that herbicide-resistant weeds are common in Harrison County and will continue to spread,” said Larry Buss, a farmer who leads the Harrison County Pest Resistance Management Project.

The Harrison County project is one of several community-led resistance management projects implemented across the state as part of the Iowa Pest Resistance Management Program.

The Iowa Pest Resistance Management Program is an Iowa-specific effort to address pests — weeds, insects and diseases — that can adapt and become resistant to chemical, genetic and agronomic control practices. The program outlines approaches for effective, integrated management solutions that will sustainably control pests.

The program is helping to form community teams of farmers, agronomists, crop advisers, researchers, bankers, agribusiness professionals and landowners to increase collaboration, spread awareness and find solutions to local resistance issues.

In Harrison County, seeds of three major weeds — waterhemp, giant ragweed and Palmer amaranth — were collected, grown in Iowa State University greenhouses and screened for resistance to some commonly used herbicides. A fourth weed also was collected, marestail, but those seeds did not germinate in the tests.

All three demonstrated resistance to Roundup (glyphosate, Group 9). The waterhemp also showed resistance to Cobra (lactofen, Group 14). Palmer amaranth and giant ragweed also displayed resistance to Callisto (Mesotrione, Group 27).

Sample sizes for this screening were small, but additional sampling done last year will provide more insights into the threat of resistance in Harrison County.

Learn more about the Harrison weed screening results here: https://www.ipm.iastate.edu/harrison-county-pest-resistance-project-overview.

A field day on the Harrison County Pesticide Management Project will be held Tuesday, July 9, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. immediately northeast of the intersection of Niagara Trail and 262nd Street, which is about 1.5 to 2 miles southwest of downtown Logan. 

Tips to Avoid Resistance

The Integrated Crop Management Team of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach advises the following to avoid weed resistance:

  • Scout fields in the fall for weed escapes and locations.

The Iowa Pest Resistance Management Plan, developed through the efforts of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State and 11 partnering agricultural organizations, seeks to delay the development of resistance in insects, weeds and diseases and to preserve management tools and profitability for farmers. Watch a video of the Harrison County Herbicide Resistance Project - 2018 Field Day.