Farmers many times get the bad rap that they’re resistant to change, but that’s not true, especially when their survival depends upon it.

Surveys conducted by the University of Georgia reveal that monumental changes have occurred in a relatively short amount of time as it relates to cotton weed control practices in response to glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth pigweed.

During this same time, the cost of weed control in cotton production has roughly doubled.

Based on conservative estimates gathered by UGA researchers, approximately 50 percent of upland cotton in the United States is infested with glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth. This resistance developed in response to the widespread planting of glyphosate-resistant cotton varieties.

Early on, as growers were adopting these varieties, surveys were conducted to examine weed control practices. These studies showed that glyphosate use increased — both the number of applications applied and the area to which glyphosate was applied — but there also was  a corresponding decrease in the use of other herbicide classes.

Looking at the widespread nature of glyphosate-resistant weeds — particularly Palmer amaranth pigweed — and the subsequent resistance management strategies, UGA researchers expected there would be another shift in crop production practices.

Understanding these grower practices and how they change, according to the survey, will help fill in the gaps in research and Extension. It also helps to identify potential areas of abuse and prevent additional resistance.

The objective of the study was to determine if cotton weed management in Georgia has changed with glyphosate-resistance Palmer amaranth.

Two surveys were conducted — one was of growers in Georgia about their individual farming practices and the other was of county Extension agents who provided third-party information on a county-wide basis.