I would like to follow up your story on waterhemp resistance to glyphosate with some additional information. (See February issue, page 44.)

Research was established in a Missouri field in 2000 to examine reports of poor waterhemp control with glyphosate in 1999. No crop was grown in this area in 2000 to enhance detection of plants that survived glyphosate.

Single applications of Roundup at 1 qt/acre or more controlled more than 80% of treated 4-8" and 12-16" plants. When we compared the control of the suspect plants with the control of waterhemp at one of our nearby research farms, there was an average of 11% less control of waterhemp at the suspect site. The most effective treatment was a sequential application of Roundup (one quart per acre on 4-8" or 12-16" plants followed by another 1 qt/acre on plants where 4" of new growth was detected).

With this sequential application, we controlled more than 96% of the plants. When we examined the waterhemp at the suspect site two months after treatment, less than 10% of the total treated plants had survived. However, we did identify plants that survived up to 2 gallons/acre of Roundup. We collected seed from various plants that survived Roundup, and we have germinated seeds collected from plants treated with 1 gallon/acre of Roundup.

Currently, we are trying to determine if the seed from plants that survived in 2000 also survive in response to labeled rates of Roundup. The acid test for identifying plants that we can call truly resistant is proving that suspect plants survive rates of Roundup that kill plants where no past problem existed, and demonstrating that this survival mechanism is passed on to the seed.

We should know more about this issue from experiments that will take place later this year. It is important to emphasize to growers who apply Roundup that applications were made in 2000 on over 45 million acres, with only a handful of sites where control of waterhemp was less than acceptable.

However, due to the importance of waterhemp in the Midwest, everyone should watch their fields closely and report situations where control was inadequate.
Reid J. Smeda
University of Missouri

Can Co-ops Farm?

I thought you might like to know that the complete custom farming operation described in “Co-ops: Friends Or Foes?” February issue, page 54, as being attractive to retired people, etc., may not be legal in Iowa.

In general, non-family-farm corporations, including farmer-owned cooperatives, are prohibited from owning or leasing ag land. Our legal counsel believes that if the co-op has some other arrangement with the landowner, such that the landowner is not at risk for crops produced on his land, then a court would find it to be the equivalent of a lease and also illegal. We have no interest, as the state association for cooperatives in Iowa, of changing that.

However, if the proposed legislation mentioned in Illinois is approved, co-ops there may as well close their doors. Some farmers, as you know, are engaged in buying and selling other people's grain, selling seed and chemicals, custom spraying, etc. So what is left for the co-op to do that some individual farmer in the community is not doing too?

Allowing people to get their deferred patronage out of the co-op ahead of other members is very appealing to short-sighted folks. These co-ops are, for the most part, capitalized not by direct farmer investment but by deferring a major part of their share of the co-op's earnings to a later time. If this drains away to any appreciable extent, the co-op is gone.
Larry Kallem
Executive Director
Iowa Institute for Cooperatives

On Terraces

David Kottman is right. (See “Mail & e-mail,” Mid-February issue, page 40.) Terraces reduce the velocity of runoff water. The velocity of runoff is most important in the capacity of runoff to carry soil with it.

Conservation groups have their artificial rainmakers to show how residue cover prevents erosion, but a big rain on an unterraced field will remove the residue cover and erode the soil.
James Jackson
Carlisle, IN

NFO Helps Market Grain

After reading the February issue of Soybean Digest, I thought I'd send you a short note to call your attention to another grain marketing service that might be of interest to your readers. (See “Picking A Pro,” page 32.)

National Farmers Organization has customers in many areas using its Marketing Plus program, which might also fit the list of marketing advisory services in your recent edition. I know several producers who are using this service in Kansas, and I think they like it.

For more info, log on to www.grainmarketingplus.com.
Greg Stephens
Kansas

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