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Seeing is Believing for Growers at Bayer CropScience Respect the Rotation Events


Thousands of growers, agricultural retailers and consultants throughout the Midwest and Southeast got a firsthand look at the impact that herbicide-resistant weeds can have on their farming operations and, potentially, to their bottom line, thanks to eight Respect the Rotation™ field events held at research facilities and farms during the summer of 2012. What they saw was both frightening and motivating.

From Palmer amaranth towering over attendees’ heads in soybeans and cotton to waterhemp and kochia choking out Midwestern row crops, the images were vivid and the message was clear – best management practices, including rotation of crops, herbicide-tolerant traits and modes of action, is needed to keep weed species that are resistant to glyphosate, ALS products and other herbicides under control.

Respect the Rotation is an initiative backed by Bayer CropScience and university partners throughout the country to demonstrate the urgent need for proactive management of difficult-to-control weeds and reinforce the principles of Integrated Weed Management. At each event, university weed scientists, industry experts and growers discussed current and potential issues regarding herbicide-resistant weeds in their respective geographies. Specialists from the Mid-South attended some Midwestern events to share stories of trying to manage overwhelming resistant weed pressure.

“Weed control today is not what it used to be,” explained Jeff Stachler, assistant professor and Extension weed specialist at North Dakota State University and the University of Minnesota. “We have too many species resistant to a bunch of different herbicides, not just glyphosate. We also have weeds with multiple resistance. We want to make sure people understand the frequency of herbicide-resistant weeds and what needs to be done.”

“What Bayer is doing with Respect the Rotation really ties into the university message. It talks about utilizing different herbicide modes of action and rotating traits to keep a sustainable focus on crop protection and weed management,” said Wesley Everman, assistant professor and Extension weed specialist with North Carolina State University. “Using one herbicide, one mode of action or one technology only leads us down the path where we lose that product or technology for future use.”

Arlene Cotie, product development manager for Bayer CropScience, agrees. “More than at any time in our history, farmers must manage for weed control or face the loss of productivity, sustainability and their legacy to future generations,” she said. “These integrated weed management practices provide a solid foundation to preserve conservation tillage, steward additional herbicide-tolerant technologies and promote sustainable and profitable row crop production.

“Bayer is dedicated to bringing game-changing technologies like LibertyLink and Liberty to market to help address the most important agronomic challenges growers face.”

Seeing Is Believing
Visual images of potential weed issues made impressions on Respect the Rotation event attendees.

“When I drove up today, I had never seen a weed as tall as me,” admitted Mike Mueller, grower from Clarence, Missouri. “I was scared, but I am optimistic we can fight this resistance problem. We can beat this if we steward the ground and rotate modes of action.”

“Our growers look to us to find solutions for their problems. That’s part of the reason why we’re here today,” explained Ryan Hellriegel of Bowie Fertilizer in Overton, Nebraska. “The overall takeaway is the need to use different types of practices, whether they’re chemical, mechanical or other ways to control these weeds, not just one solution.”

Yet Mike Wilson with Agrineed in West Point, Iowa, admits cost may still be a hindrance to some growers.

“Using different modes of action is a good thing,” he said. “But when it adds cost to the bottom line, growers sometimes seem to be a little reluctant. Roundup’s been too easy, too cheap for too long. Coming here today, I wanted reassurance that I’m not the only one out here believing that there is a problem with resistance management. And it is management. It goes from the seed to the soil to the type of herbicides you use.”

Stay Vigilant

“We don’t have a single silver bullet,” reminded Bryan Young, professor of weed science/agronomy, Southern Illinois University. “We have integrated approaches. We have new herbicide-resistant crop traits, such as the LibertyLink system and future traits. The core of all this is proper herbicide use and a good, effective, postemergence application on emerged weeds that won’t respond to glyphosate anymore.”

“The point of Respect the Rotation is to continue to drive home the message that resistance is a real concern,” emphasized Alan York, professor emeritus with North Carolina State University. “It’s a problem. It’s not going to go away. It’s something we’re going to have to learn to manage and live with.

“We have to continue to fight this thing as hard as we can and try not to stump our toe at any one place, so that we basically have to start back over again,” he added. “We have to get serious about Respecting the Rotation and resistance management.”

Respect the Rotation
The only way to remain profitable in the face of increasing herbicide-resistant weed pressure 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.

For those not able to attend an event in person this summer, take a tour of the virtual Respect the Rotation event available through the Corn & Soybean Digest website at Learn about the management issues growers are facing and best practices to overcome them through videos, photos and articles available online.

A wide variety of educational tools and information is available online. Visit, talk to your local Bayer CropScience representative or call 1-866-99-BAYER (1-866-992-2937).

# # #

Follow Bayer at @Bayer4CropsUS. Suggested Tweets:

  •     “We can beat [resistant weeds] if we steward the ground and rotate modes of action.” #RtR13
  •     Thousands got a look at the impact resistant weeds can have on farming at 8 Respect the Rotation events in 2012 #RtR13

Additional Resources:

  •     See event coverage through the Respect the Rotation Storify feed
  •     View videos from events on YouTube on the Bayer CropScience channel
  •     See photos on the Flickr page for Bayer

About Bayer CropScience
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience, the subgroup of Bayer AG responsible for the agricultural business, has annual sales of EUR 7.255 billion (2011) and is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of seeds, crop protection and non-agricultural pest control. The company offers an
outstanding range of products including high value seeds, innovative crop protection solutions based on chemical and biological modes of action as well as an extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture. In the area of non-agricultural applications, Bayer CropScience has a broad portfolio of products and services to control pests from home and garden to forestry applications. The company has a global workforce of 21,000 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at:

Bayer CropScience Media Hotline

Find more information at

Forward-Looking Statements
This 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 The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

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