Planting Time Calendar

As we are nearing toward spring and putting our new plants underground, check out “The Farmer’s Alamanac” for a guide on what seeds to start now and what to wait another month or two….  The link below is just an example.  Put in your information for planting guidelines for your area.  



Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Email PrintFriendlyGet your Best Planting Dates! Our new ALL-SEASONS gardening calendar stretches from spring through fall planting. It not only tells you when to sow indoors and plant in the ground, but also when to harvest—and is customized to your location based on the nearest weather station.

Note: The planting calendar covers the 30 most popular vegetables, herbs, and fruit. For nearly 200 edibles, why not try our online Almanac Garden Planner for free here.

Enter a Location

We use historical data from your local weather station to calculate the best range of planting dates for your location.


If you would like to receive planting reminders and a copy of this planting calendar by email, enter your email address below:

Set Up RemindersWe will send you reminders of when to plant these crops twice a month together with helpful gardening videos on alternate Fridays. You may unsubscribe from these emails at any time. We will also send you free newsletters. You can edit your email preferences by clicking the link at the bottom of any message. View our privacy policy and terms and conditions.


Planting calendar key
Plant Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage (Summer)
Potatoes (Maincrop)
Squash (Summer)
Sweet Potato
Swiss Chard

The Basics of Growing Cilantro, Oregano and Mint

So it’s been a while since the last Herbs Corner post and our family has been very busy since then. We have gone on various picnics, reconnected with friends and family, made delicious dishes and enjoyed the beautiful blessings of our Creator. It’s been so wonderful spending time with my family and I hope your families are having fun (and staying safe) in this sunny season.

                                                               park outing on Memorial Day

Now because this is an herb blog, I decided it is high time I post some herb pictures for you plant lovers. Originally, it was just going to be a post about herbs and the lovely foods we eat with them ;). However, since some of you might be wondering how to plant cilantro, oregano and mint, this is for you.

Before we start, here’s a disclaimer: I am not an herb master or plant aficionado by any means, I am just a person with some firsthand knowledge of growing a small herb garden. I hope you will learn something from this post or at least discover an interest in using fresh herbs. If you are looking for more in-depth, scientific, well-researched stuff, please check out your local library, the internet or your local gardener’s class for more information.

Alright so we have a small (and by small, I mean microscopic) herb garden this year which consists of: one large, sprawling mint plant, 3 oregano plants and 1 cilantro plant. I took some pictures of these plants so you can get the visuals. All plants were planted in holes about 6-8 inches deep and get half to full sunlight. We have received a decent amount of rain here in mid-Missouri, averaging about 1-2 rainfalls a week during May. I have yet to see what June’s weather will bring, but hopefully the rain will keep coming.

Isn’t the oregano simply gorgeous?

                            bottom: oregano, upper left corner: cilantro, upper right corner: mint

We have only had the cilantro and oregano for about a week and half, but they seem to be doing well. The mint plant we have had for about 1-2 years, as it self-planted from the first time we bought it. For our family, herbs do tremendously well because they require little care and *ahem* water.

The cilantro does have a little wilting on it, but I’m reading that good circulation and frequent harvesting will produce a fuller, more robust plant. Frequent harvesting is a must with cilantro, which has a short seed cycle and quickly turns to coriander seed in hot weather. If you want the cilantro plant to grow back every year, use the amount you want and then let it seed (turn into a flowering coriander plant).

As for the oregano, it is quite full and beautiful. I haven’t seen anything wrong with it and prayerfully it won’t :). From my research and observation, growing oregano is strikingly similar to cilantro. Both plants love the sun, only require infrequent, thorough watering and need to be trimmed lightly to ensure robustness.

Lastly, but certainly not least, is our large mint plant. The funny thing is, we planted the mint one year and then it just started growing back the next year. As amateur (oftentimes failling) gardeners, our family was ecstatic when this plant came in. Although we really don’t use much mint, it was great to have a plant come to fruition.

For growing tips, I would recommend using your mint plant before it gets too large, giving it a decent amount of sunlight and using your mint plant before it gets too large. However if you happen to have an insatiable desire for mint, then by all means let it grow.
Our mint is contained in a brick planter, so spreading isn’t much of a problem, but if you want to avoid a tangled mess, definitely cut and trim your mint.

Well that ends my herb observations, I hope this post inspires you to get out and plant some herbs! I will be doing some posts in the future with some ideas for using cilantro, oregano and mint, but for now goodbye 🙂


Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

The Amazing Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
January 8, 2016
byThrive Market

What if there was a healthy, organic, and cheap miracle tonic that could facilitate digestion and detoxification, aid in weight loss, cure acne, and bring on shiny hair? Well, there is such a thing. It’s called apple cider vinegar.

Also known as ACV, this fermented liquid is loaded with friendly bacteria, which is what has made it such an obsession within the natural health community for years. But it’s not just a folk remedy—more and more of its health benefits are being proven with both anecdotal and scientific evidence, turning apple cider vinegar from hippie favorite to mainstream phenomenon in just a few years.

What is apple cider vinegar?

ACV is a vinegar made by crushing apples, squeezing out the liquid, and adding yeast in order to ferment its sugars. The liquid is converted into alcohol, to which bacteria is then added. As it’s allowed to ferment more, it develops acetic acid, which is the main compound and active ingredient in apple cider vinegar.

The result of this fermentation process is a light brown, murky liquid. It differs from distilled white vinegar mainly because it contains the “mother,” a cloudy sediment seen within the bottle, which boasts small amounts of proteins, enzymes, amino acids, and fiber—particularly pectin from the apples—as well as plenty of “good” bacteria, giving raw ACV tons of probiotic power. The best-quality ACV is organic, raw, undistilled, and unfiltered, like Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar.

This is What Apple Cider Vinegar Looks Like

Acetic acid makes ACV special

Despite some claims, ACV hasn’t exactly been found to contain high levels of nutrients and minerals. (However, some believe it may contain phytochemicals, which exist in plants to help them endure environmental stress; potentially these phytochemicals could do the same for humans.) But, one thing ACV is high in: acetic acid.

Acetic acid is naturally antimicrobial, which means it can kill bacteria and pathogens. This is what gives ACV such power to clean and disinfect. Some body ailments that it can purportedly cure, when used topically, are:

  • Nail fungus
  • Lice
  • Warts
  • Ear infections

Acetic acid is known to inhibit E.coli, which means ACV makes a great ingredient in preserving and pickling foods such as garlic and cucumbers. But acetic acid has tons of health benefits, too.

How ACV benefits weight loss

While the research on apple cider vinegar’s direct effect on weight loss are inconclusive, there are a number of processes it can affect that ultimately help with dropping pounds:

  • Lowers blood sugar
  • Improves insulin sensitivity
  • Aids digestion
  • Helps to detoxify the body

Lowers blood sugar

Also known as blood glucose, blood sugar is the concentration of glucose in the blood. High blood sugar occurs when the body either can’t make insulin or can’t respond to it properly—and the condition can accelerate aging and increase the risk of chronic diseases. People with diabetes may experience a glucose build-up in the blood (hyperglycemia), which can damage blood vessels and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve issues.

But research suggests ACV might help lower blood sugar. One study in the American Diabetes Foundation’s journal, Diabetes Care, found that diabetic individuals who ingested two tablespoons of ACV at bedtimeexperienced lower blood sugar levels upon waking.

Increases insulin sensitivity

Insulin is a hormone that helps the body absorb nutrients from food to use as energy. Eating carbohydrates increases blood sugar, and then the pancreas releases insulin to carry the sugar from the bloodstream to the organs. But a diet with excess carbs and sugars can decrease insulin sensitivity, meaning we need to produce higher-than-normal levels of insulin just to keep blood sugar stable. This makes it difficult for the body to convert carbs into energy, and instead it stores them as fat.

ACV may help increase insulin sensitivity in insulin-resistant subjects, according to another study published inDiabetes Care.

Aids digestion

Enzymes in apple cider vinegar, as well as the fiber from the “mother,” may help the digestive process. Just like other acids, acetic acid can help the body to effectively absorb minerals from food. Scientists also believe that ACV can inhibit the digestion of starch, leading to fewer calories entering the bloodstream.


The “mother” also contains pectin, which can help to firm up stool and allow for healthy bowel movements, too. Because of these digestive benefits, ACV helps the body detox and can potentially lessen the workload of the liver.

Heart health benefits of ACV

As mentioned above, apple cider vinegar can help lower blood sugar, which already provides benefits to heart health. But there’s more.

Excessive LDL, also known as “bad” cholesterol, in the arteries increases the risk of serious cardiovascular conditions such as heart disease and hypertension. The acetic acid in ACV has shown to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol, according to a study published in the journal, Life Science:


Another study published in the journal, Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry found that the acetic acid in vinegar lowered blood pressure in rats, which also shows potential to improve cardiovascular health in humans.

ACV’s effect on cancer

The effects of ACV on cancer are largely contradictory and inconclusive. Various studies purport that ingesting vinegar can kill or slow the growth of cancer cells. One specific study found that ACV decreased esophageal cancer risk, but another indicated that it increases the risk of bladder cancer.

Side effects of apple cider vinegar

If the health benefits of ACV have you fired up and ready to take a swig of it, not so fast! Drinking too much undiluted apple cider vinegar can have some side effects:

  • Erosion of tooth enamel: Some people think ACV can help whiten teeth. That might be true, but it’s likely because it wears away the tooth enamel, which can ultimately lead to tooth decay. Because of its acidity, ACV is not ideal for dental care.
  • Aggravation of the esophageal wall: Another side effect of ACV’s acidity, drinking it undiluted for a prolonged period, can harm the esophageal wall.
  • Low potassium levels: In some cases, ACV may interact with prescription medication and decrease potassium, which is essential for kidney health.
  • Hypoglycemia: Since ACV has the ability to reduce blood sugar levels, some users, particularly those with type 2 diabetes, may experience abnormally low blood sugar. It’s a good idea to monitor blood sugar levels with a physician.

Maple-ACV Tonic

How to use ACV

Be sure to dilute ACV with water or other liquids when drinking. Try this tonic recipefor a miracle beverage that may:

  • boost digestive health
  • reduce fatigue and energize the body
  • suppress appetite
  • reduce water retention
  • settle tummy troubles
  • promote weight loss

Cook with it

Tossing it back isn’t the only way to ingest ACV—it’s a great healthy cooking staple. The punchy, sparkly-sour taste adds brightness to many dishes—especially salad. For the only salad dressing you’ll ever need, simply mix up these ingredients:

Here are some other super healthy, yummy recipes using ACV:

ACV + honey

Mixing apple cider vinegar with honey is believed to make powerful elixir. Some of the claims surrounding this drink are:

  • Relieves joint pain
  • Alleviates inflammation
  • Soothes chronic sore throat

After drinking ACV and honey first thing in the morning every day a month, one author at Simple Organic Life reported big changes. Her intense heartburn and frequent constipation and diarrhea subsided, she lost weight, felt more energetic throughout the day, and even noticed she no longer had bad breath in the morning.

To whip up your own ACV-and-honey tea, stir 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon raw honey into a cup of hot water. Sip it every morning, followed by a few glasses of water.

Apple cider vinegar around the house

Ready to banish bleach and other harmful, endocrine-disrupting, chemical cleaners from your home? ACV is a great alternative. Make an easy, powerful degreaser by combining equal parts apple cider vinegar and water. Pour into a spray bottle, shake, and spritz. This solution also works as a mildew spray for the shower.

A rich, all-natural wood polish is another great DIY cleaner: Combine ¼ cup ACV with 2 cups water and 2 tablespoons olive oil.

If the pungent scent of ACV has you missing conventional cleaners, no problem! Just add several drops of your favorite essential oil to your liking. For squeaky-clean freshness, we like lemon.

Apple cider vinegar can work wonders in the yard, too, especially as a safe, natural, and eco-friendly weed killer.Here’s the how-to:

  • Mix ½ gallon of ACV with ¼ cup table salt and ½ teaspoon liquid dish soap.
  • Spray the concoction directly onto unwanted weeds. Be careful to use it strictly as a spot treatment since it can kill other plants as well.

On the flip side, ACV can potentially act as a fertilizer to certain plants that love acidic soil, such as blueberry bushes, hydrangeas, and hibiscus. Mix 10 ounces of ACV with 10 gallons of water and pour on soil to help cultivate these plants.

Surprising ways to use ACV in beauty

Guess what? Some of our favorite ways to use ACV involve beauty—and we’re not alone. Its popularity as a beauty staple is growing every day. Here are two foolproof ways to use apple cider vinegar for amazing hair and skin.

Shampoo with baking soda, rinse with ACV

Famously known as the “no poo” method, this revolutionary hair routine involves “shampooing” hair with baking soda, and conditioning with ACV. The theory is that using this base and acid combo balances the hair’s pH. But since baking soda is highly basic, with a pH of 9, it might do more damage than good for the hair. According to Audrey Kunin, MD, author of the book DermaDoctor SkinStruction Manual: The Smart Guide to Healthy, Beautiful Skin and Looking Good at Any Age:


However, an ACV rinse doesn’t seem to pose such risks—in fact, it can help offset that kind of damage. Each strand of hair is protected by a cuticle comprised of tightly woven scales that lay flat against the shaft and reflect light. When the hair’s normally acidic pH balance goes out of whack from a buildup of alkaline hair products, the cuticle comes undone, leaving hair prone to breakage and giving it a frizzy, dull appearance.

The acidity of ACV can rescue hair by restoring pH balance to help repair the cuticle. The result: ultra-shiny hair! Raw, unfiltered ACV also has natural alpha-hydroxy acid that can gently exfoliate the scalp and hair to remove dead skin cells and product buildup, so depending on your hair and scalp, after using it for awhile, you might be able to skip shampoo altogether.

Try this formula for the perfect ACV conditioning hair rinse:

Put ingredients into a spray bottle and shake every time before use. In the shower, spray solution generously onto wet hair, work into scalp and strands, and rinse.


Apple cider vinegar as a toner

Apple cider vinegar’s pH-balancing properties and alpha hydroxy content also gives it major skin benefits. You can use ACV as the base for a DIY pore-cleansing toner that’s antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, acne-fighting, and exfoliating—and it’s so easy to make. Check out the recipe here.

ACV for dogs and cats

Yes, apple cider vinegar can do good for your furry friends, too! Fleas despise the acidic taste of ACV, so try adding a little of this vinegar to your pet’s drinking water. For a 40-pound dog, add one teaspoon ACV to one quart of water (adjust according to the animal’s weight). For both dogs and cats, a diluted 1-1 mixture of ACV and water can be sprayed directly onto their fur and skin. (Dilution is especially important for cats, who tend to have more sensitive skin.)

Go to for more details….

Helpful Turmeric tonic to balance ph

I have been amazed at how beneficial turmeric is to the body.  Personally, I have not tried this drink but it is something that I would like to do especially as I am getting older:


Inflammation, acidity, or feeling foggy are common symptoms of a body out of balance. Boost your immune system, lower your pain levels and support alkalinity with this healing turmeric tonic.


1 lemon, juiced
half oz turmeric juice or half tsp. turmeric powder
half tbsp. unpasteurized honey
pinch of salt
1 cup fresh spring water


Juice lemon and turmeric and combine it with your other ingredients in a glass jar. Store in the fridge or enjoy right away.

Can turmeric help with depression?

I read an interesting article recently suggesting that turmeric can help with symptoms of depression.  A year ago a friend told me about turmeric for pain and inflammation but was not aware it could help with moods….  I have decided to give it a try and see what happens. One way to ensure that the supplement you are using does not have added ingredients, is to purchase empty vegetable capsules and put the turmeric powder in yourself.

Turmeric for Depression?
Is it true that turmeric is useful for treating depression?

Answer (Published 8/26/2011)
It may turn out to be helpful. Turmeric, the yellow spice that colors curry and American yellow mustard, is a potent natural anti-inflammatory agent. Its active constituent, curcumin, has shown promise as an antidepressant in animal models, and curcumin also has been found to enhance nerve growth in the frontal cortex and hippocampal areas of the brain. Researchers in India have suggested performing clinical trials on humans to explore turmeric’s efficacy as a novel antidepressant.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil’s Vitamin Advisor for Mood Support – A healthy outlook on life is a cornerstone of optimal health. The good news: proper diet, lifestyle, exercise and prudent supplemental nutrition can all help support an optimistic disposition. Learn more, and get your free, personalized Dr. Weil’s Vitamin Advisor Recommendation today.

Because turmeric and curcumin offer myriad health benefits, including reduced risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, I often recommend them as dietary supplements. They are poorly absorbed from the G.I. tract, but recent research has shown that absorption is greatly enhanced by the presence of piperine, a compound in black pepper. Many people in India eat foods containing turmeric at almost every meal, and customarily add black pepper to most dishes. This frequent combination likely contributes to the anti-inflammatory and other benefits they apparently receive.

If you want to try turmeric or curcumin supplements to see if they help improve mood, look for products standardized for 95% curcuminoids that also contain piperine or black pepper extract. Follow the dosage instructions on labels. You can take turmeric or curcumin indefinitely and combine them with antidepressant drugs or with natural remedies including St. John’s wort, SAMe, and other herbs that may help support a positive outlook.

However, you shouldn’t use turmeric if you have gallstones or bile duct dysfunction, and pregnant women shouldn’t use it without their doctors’ approval. In rare cases, extended use can cause stomach upset or heartburn. Note that piperine can slow the elimination of some prescription drugs including phenytoin [Dilantin], propranolol [Inderal], and theophylline. Some evidence also suggests that curcumin can interfere with a chemotherapy agent used to treat breast cancer, so if you’re being treated for this disease, be sure to discuss the advisability of taking curcumin with your physician.

Bear in mind that the most effective treatment I know for mild to moderate depression is regular exercise, including walking. Try it for at least 30 minutes a day. You should also consider taking at least two grams a day of  high quality supplemental fish oil. For a full discussion of natural remedies for depression and an integrative plan for optimum emotional well-being, watch for my new book, Spontaneous Happiness, to be published by Little, Brown & Co. in November 2011.

Andrew Weil, M.D.


Turmeric can do amazing things…..

Is Tom’s toothpaste good for you?

I have been meaning to share this for some time.  In all cases please do your own research and confirm all information with several sources.


Tom’s of Maine has become a mainstream brand among health-conscious consumers. Unfortunately, it turns out that most of these consumers are unaware of who owns Tom’s of Main and what ingredients Tom’s products contain.  This might be shocking to some but Tom’s of Maine isn’t owned by Tom and is not from Maine.  In fact, it’s owned by a well-known corporate giant — Colgate-Palmolive of New York. In the United States alone, Colgate-Palmolive’s 35% share  mostly relies  on a patented gingivitis formula which contains triclosan,  a toxic chemical substance  that reacts with the chlorine in tap water to become chloroform — a deadly chlorinated aromatic.

Reasons to Avoid Tom’s of Maine Products

1. Contain Aluminum. Though Potassium alum used in Tom’s of Maine products is a natural mineral salt made up of molecules that are too large to be absorbed by your skin, it is still not completely aluminum-free. It accumulates within the body so that the aluminum becomes more destructive with increased age.

Aluminum has been repeatedly linked to breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease,  generalized permanent damage to the central nervous system,  brittle bones, autism, infertility, hormonal imbalance.

2. Contain Zinc Chloride.   According to the Dangerous Substance Directive , Zinc chloride is classified, as “Harmful (Xn), Irritant (Xi) and Dangerous for the environment (N).”  Read the Environmental Working Group’s page on Zinc Chloridehere.

3. Contain Titanium dioxide. According to the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety, titanium dioxide is a human carcinogen:

Titanium dioxide has recently been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as an IARC Group 2B carcinogen ”possibly carcinogen to humans”… This evidence showed that high concentrations of pigment-grade (powdered) and ultrafine titanium dioxide dust caused respiratory tract cancer in rats exposed by inhalation and intratracheal instillation*.

4. Contain Carrageenan. Tom’s of Maine  puts carrageenan in its toothpaste, including kids’ toothpaste. Many scientific, peer-reviewed studies found that  food-grade carrageenan can cause  gastrointestinal inflammation, ulcerations, lesions and even colon cancer in laboratory animals. Additionally, recent studies funded by the American Diabetes Association have linked the consumption of food-grade carrageenan to insulin resistance and glucose intolerance in mice.

5. Contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). Although SLS originates from coconuts, the chemical is far from being natural. The real problem with SLES/SLS is that the manufacturing process (ethoxylation) results in SLES/SLS being contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, a carcinogenic by-product, which will be discussed in more detail later.  Rsearch studies on SLS have shown links to organ and reproductive toxicity, neurological damage, endocrine disruption, and cancer.

Before buying a personal care product, make sure to do your own research. Your health depends on it! I highly recommend Earthpaste Toothpaste. It contains only natural safe ingredients. (where to find)

Sponsored by Revcontent

Is manual weeding making a comeback?

Herbicide-resistant weeds changing farm practices

Arkansas has been ground zero for herbicide-resistant weeds. For instance, the state is second only to Australia in the amount of herbicide-resistant ryegrass in wheat.

“We’re actually running out of herbicides, making it difficult for us to even grow wheat in Arkansas, because of the levels of resistance that we have,” said Dr. Bob Scott. The state has had a large helping of resistance problems in other crops as well.

Scott shared Arkansas’ herbicide- resistance history with farmers gathered in North Battleford for Cavalier Agrow’s farm forum. Scott, a weed scientist, works in extension through the University of Arkansas.

By the 1990s, Arkansas farmers were already battling weeds that were immune to DNA herbicides. Farmers were also facing other problem weeds such as ALS-resistant cockleburs.


“In 1999, Roundup came along and rescued us,” said Scott. Farmers rapidly adopted glyphosate, and everything seemed great, he said.

“But what we didn’t know at the time was that we were putting an astronomical amount of selection pressure on Roundup as a herbicide,” he said.

Horseweed was the first to develop glyphosate resistance. Scott said the difference between resistant and susceptible horseweed was like the difference between a Roundup Ready crop and a regular crop.

Horseweed seeds are wind-borne, so resistant plants spread rapidly across the state. Scott said the weed also started emerging later in the spring.

“So we were selecting for a biotype of this weed that was not only resistant to Roundup, but was emerging after the dicamba went out, after the burn-down went out, and coming up in the Roundup Ready crop.”

Other glyphosate-resistant weeds — common and giant ragweed, Johnsongrass — followed. Scott said the state was averaging a new glyphosate-resistant weed every year and a half to two years.

“We were throwing something in the tank. We were adding a burn-down. But we really hadn’t made a lot of wholesale changes in the way we farm,” said Scott.

The first signs of resistance
In 2006, a farmer reported a Palmer pigweed patch that he’d sprayed several times with glyphosate.

“So we came out and sampled some seeds, took them to the greenhouse, and had one of those ‘Oh, crap,’ moments,” said Scott. They’d found their first resistant pigweed population.

Palmer pigweed is a particularly vexing plant to deal with. If the weather cools after the pigweed emerges, it will only grow four or five inches before putting on a seed head, Scott said. But under ideal conditions, it will grow taller than a man. During one study, one pigweed plant produced over 1.8 million seeds, Scott said.

If the weed emerges in a favourable spot, Palmer pigweed will produce plenty of seed and little pollen. The seeds will fall in that spot, Scott explained.

But if the weed is under stress when it comes up, due to the location, it will embrace its masculine side, producing more pollen “so that its genes can be carried off to another spot. Pretty unique evolutionary adaptation for a weed,” said Scott.

Palmer pigweed also readily hybridizes, crossing with other pigweeds and waterhemp, Scott said. “These pigweeds have no morals whatsoever.”

Between 2006 and 2011, glyphosate-resistant Palmer pigweed had spread to most soybean-growing counties in Arkansas. Scott said it spread through pollen, to some extent, but he thinks the main culprit was farm equipment.

Manual weeding
The rise of glyphosate-resistant weeds brought a host of problems to Arkansas farms.

Resistant horseweed pushed farmers to apply more dicamba. The herbicide was applied in every cotton field and many soybean fields, adding considerable production costs, Scott said. Dicamba also has long plant-back intervals, Scott added.

Glyphosate-resistant weeds proved to be a huge problem for cotton growers. The crop has to be grown in wide rows, making weed control very difficult, Scott explained.

“We saw the reintroduction of hoe-crews in fields where we had not seen them ever before,” he said, adding the cost was “unsustainable.”

Scott related the case of one farmer who had a severe pigweed problem. Scott visited the farm when glyphosate-resistant pigweed started popping up in combine passes. He suggested switching to Liberty Link.

But other advisers talked the farmer out of it, Scott said. Instead, they suggested tank mixes for the next crop.

“The herbicides they chose to use to try to stay in Roundup, this pigweed happened to already be resistant to,” said Scott. They applied the mix a couple of times, to no avail. The pigweed overtook the crop. There were field areas where the farmer couldn’t run the combine, and Scott said he lost $230 per acre in those spots.

The next year, Scott ran a demonstration plot in that field, with a residual program. They were able to control the pigweed, said Scott.

Scott said cotton and soybean growers had to change the way they farmed. “Pigweed did not care how that guy wanted to farm. It didn’t care if he wanted to get one more year out of Roundup or not. It forced our hand, big time.”

Farmers are back to using residual herbicides, he said. They also rely on Group 14 chemistry, he added, although Group 14 resistance has been documented in other states.

Lessons learned
Scott read through a list of glyphosate-resistant weeds in Western Canada, noting farmers here have some problems, too. He suggested growers look at herbicide use and production history on their own farms now, even if they don’t have big problems yet.

“Maybe making a simple change now will prevent all of this kind of stuff from happening to you guys up here like it did to us in Arkansas.”

Farmers should pay attention to weeds that survive herbicide applications, Scott said. “Act on them while you can because prevention is a lot better than the cure in some cases.”

Running the combine through a resistant weed patch seeds the entire field for the next year, he added.

Adding a second chemical to glyphosate will only give farmers one mode of action if they already have glyphosate-resistant weeds, Scott said. Farmers should also remember that there’s “no reverse selection pressure” for weed resistance, he said. Weeds will remain resistant in the years to come. Scott has a research plot with pigweed that is resistant to three modes of action. Two were selected for in the ’80s and ’90s, he said.

Scott rarely recommends a single mode of action these days. Even with the Liberty Link system, he suggests residuals to get multiple modes of action. Farmers can get up to four modes of action out of that system, none of which have widespread resistance, he said.

While the Liberty Link system has helped Arkansas farmers, Scott said it’s being abused, too. For example, some people are spraying too late. A 12-day difference in application can mean the difference between 75 per cent and 100 per cent control, he said.

Three or four years of residuals and concerted efforts to cut the seed bank make a big difference when it comes to knocking down pigweed on a farm, he said. Controlling glyphosate-resistant pigweed has forced farmers to manage other resistant weeds, too, and they haven’t been finding new resistant weeds lately, he said.

Scott sees crops that can tolerate several modes of action in the future. He’s had an early look at Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Xtend system, which includes glyphosate and dicamba. Scott said it’s very good technology. It even cleaned up his resistant pigweed patch.

But, he added, it “scares the living fire out of me.” The system only has one mode of action for glyphosate-resistant pigweed. He does, however, see a fit for Xtend in a resistance management program that has other modes of action.

Asked whether he’s concerned about volunteers that are resistant to multiple modes of action, Scott said so far they’ve been able to control volunteers with different herbicides.

“When we do start stacking these traits, that won’t be the case. And that is a really big concern,” he said.

But BASF has decided not to with ALS tolerance, he said, so that farmers can control volunteers. “So I actually hope that between Dow and Monsanto, they’ll leave one trait out so that the other can be controlled.”