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Herbicide resistant horseweed

(Wednesday, June 4, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- Associated Press via Agnet: LITTLE ROCK -- Genetics and herbicide use are, according to this story, contributing to the rise of a strong strain of horseweed, troubling farmers who likely will have to spend millions of dollars to fight the plant that is immune to a common weed-killer.

Ken Smith, of the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, the weed scientist who confirmed the horseweed's presence in an Arkansas cotton field,, was cited as saying it could cost the state's farmers as much as $9 million to combat it next year, adding "We're probably to the point where it's going to be too late to give them good control this year and they're going to suffer some yield loss."

Smith was further cited as saying that farmers exclusively using glyphosate and glyphosate-infused seeds to fight weeds in their fields likely will need to take additional steps before next year's planting season and that the weed could affect 600,000 acres by next year's planting season in February and March, costing farmers an additional $8 to $15 per acre.

David Heering, a Roundup technical manager for St. Louis-based Monsanto, was cited as saying that horseweed, also known as marestail, is typically found in no-till areas because it can't grow in a tilled field. No-till areas help reduce soil erosion and also help farmers reduce planting costs.

Heering said products sold in areas where the resistant horseweed is confirmed will include instructions about mixing other products with Roundup to combat the weed.