Effects of climate change and weed resistance highlight the importance of a zero-tolerance approach to weed control

  • Study finds that two-thirds of growers desire complete pigweed control
  • Operation Weed Eradication encourages growers to take a “one weed is one too many” mindset 

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, May 4, 2022 – BASF is calling on growers to take a “one weed is one too many” approach to weed management to help increase yield and mitigate the intensifying effects of climate change and pigweed resilience.


According to a recent study conducted by Kynetec for BASF Agricultural Solutions, two-thirds of growers have experienced pigweed resistance within the last three to six years, and 43% say they worry about pigweed on a weekly basis.


Additionally, new research from the University of Illinois and the USDA Agricultural Research Service, shows that as climate change causes warmer, drier weather to become more frequent, soybean crops have become increasingly susceptible to yield loss from uncontrolled and resistant weeds.


“Pigweed resistance is a major economic issue on fields all across the country,” said Dr. Bryan Young, Professor of Weed Science at Purdue University and Operation Weed Eradication University Advisor. “Growers need to plan quickly because this weed is developing such resistance to today’s chemistry. We are at a point where we need to start thinking about pigweed control much differently.”


Although growers report currently achieving approximately 90% control of weeds, two-thirds of farmers agree that a zero-tolerance approach is required, because the last weed standing is the strongest, most capable and the most genetically resistant weed on the farm.


When it comes to employing new strategies for a zero-tolerance approach, growers can turn to Operation Weed Eradication. BASF joined forces with AGCO, Raven Industries and leading weed scientists to create this initiative, enlisting tough-minded growers across the country to adopt a complete eradication mindset towards weed control.


Operation Weed Eradication urges a balanced approach of cultural practices, chemical control and eradication diligence.


Participating growers report the biggest benefits of pigweed control are increased yield, long-term sustainability, and lessening future input costs, according to the study.


Third generation farmer Tim Couser, of Greenfield Farms, has partnered with BASF to share his experience addressing resistant pigweed on-farm, and says his goal is to make the message of weed resistance more prevalent.


 “We feel that if we don't, farmers are going to make mistakes that in the near-term don't hurt us, but long-term are very severe," said Couser.


For more information about Operation Weed Eradication, visit operationweederadication.com

About BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division  

Farming is fundamental to provide enough healthy and affordable food for a rapidly growing population while reducing environmental impacts. Working with partners and agricultural experts and by integrating sustainability criteria into all business decisions, we help farmers to create a positive impact on sustainable agriculture. That’s why we invest in a strong R&D pipeline, connecting innovative thinking with practical action in the field. Our portfolio comprises seeds and specifically selected plant traits, chemical and biological crop protection, solutions for soil management, plant health, pest control and digital farming. With expert teams in the lab, field, office and in production, we strive to find the right balance for success – for farmers, agriculture and future generations. In 2021, our division generated sales of €8.2 billion. For more information, please visit www.agriculture.basf.com or any of our social media channels.  

About BASF

BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 16,700 employees in North America and had sales of $25.9 billion in 2021. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, visit www.basf.com/us.  


At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Around 111,000 employees in the BASF Group contribute to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio comprises six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of €78.6 billion in 2021. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the U.S. Further information at www.basf.com