Wheat School: Why kochia is so hard to kill and so prone to herbicide resistance

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Why is kochia resistant to multiple herbicide groups? Turns out, it’s not any one thing, but a few different aspects of how the plant grows, reproduces, and spreads that make it a hard-to-control and prone to developing herbicide resistance.

In this episode of the Wheat School, Dr. Charles Geddes, research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at Lethbridge, explains the expanded range of kochia, how its adapting to new areas, and how weather patterns are driving that expansion.

He also dives into how specific growing characteristics have resulted in the species evolving resistance to five different modes of action, four of which have been found in biotypes on the Canadian Prairies. Kochia populations have shown resistance to Groups 2, 4, 9, and 14, Geddes says, with Group 5 resistance showing up outside of Canada so far.

What can be done about this aggressive tumbleweed? Complex problems require complex solutions. Watch/listen for more of that discussion below!

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