Unfortunately, there is “very little” discussion about mechanical or cultural weed control practices, he says.

“People say farmers don’t want to do that. That’s right, they don’t, but what other alternatives will they soon have if they don’t take into consideration other strategies?” he questions.

Owen said when weed scientists recommend rate increases and adding herbicides to counter resistance they are “enabling simplicity and convenience. These two concepts do not work and have not ever worked, if we are truly objective.

“It behooves us to recognize that what we are doing is not working. What we are doing is making the situation worse and there is not a lot more we can do. We have to promote alternatives” like cultural and mechanical weed management,” Owen says.

Waterhemp’s notorious cousin, Palmer amaranth, has become the scourge of the weed resistant world in the Mid-South and Southeast. And it is spreading.

University of Arkansas associate professor and weed control specialist Jason Norsworthy said it will take Draconian, expensive measures to turn it back.

Herbicide resistant Palmer amaranth was identified first in 2004 in Macon County, Ga. Since then it has spread throughout the Mid-South and Southeast and is creeping into the Midwest.

To turn it back, Norsworthy says it will take an aggressive herbicide control program coupled with equally uncompromising hand weeding and rouging program.

He is recommending a 14-day schedule of non-glyphosate and residual herbicides coupled with a persistent scouting program to identify escapes.

Nothing short of a “zero tolerance” of herbicide resistant weeds will succeed in turning back this spreading menace, Norsworthy says.