Glyphosate resistant pigweed currently may be attracting more attention, but to an increasing number of Southwest wheat growers, herbicide resistant ryegrass poses an equally disturbing dilemma.

For several years, farmers, industry representatives and Texas AgriLife Extension specialists have noted that once-effective herbicides have failed to control some ryegrass in wheat stands.

A group of interested parties met at plots near Fairlie, Texas, to review control options for this increasingly worrisome problem.

Jim Swart, Texas AgriLife Extension integrated pest management specialist, has been looking at options for several years, especially after noticing that a control standard, Axial XL, was no longer effective in controlling some ryegrass. He said another once-effective herbicide, Hoelon, had been phased out of recommendations several years ago when ryegrass displayed resistance.

Last year Swart estimated about 10 percent of the wheat in northeast Texas showed resistant ryegrass infestations. “I think that’s closer to 20 percent this year,” he said.

Tony Driver, a tech representative for Syngenta, manufacturer of Axial XL, said the problem seems fairly localized “but must be taken seriously. This can be a serious problem if we don’t address it.”