For no-tillers, it looks like they are continuing to be a bit more judicious in their use of glyphosate.

In our 5th annual No-Till Operational Benchmark Study, answered by 603 no-tillers earlier this year, 98% of no-tillers told us they’re using glyphosate on their farm. That shouldn’t come as a surprise. However, 18% say they will apply less glyphosate this year than in 2012, compared to 9% who will apply more. That continues a trend of less overall glyphosate use in 2 years of surveys.

Regarding the timing of glyphosate applications, 77% of no-tillers use it in burndown applications, while 81% make post-emergence sprays of glyphosate. The burndown rate has increased 8 points from 69% a year ago, while there has been a 2-point decline in post-applied use. Pre-emergence applications will increase, too — from 31% in 2012 to 34% this year.

No-tillers using other chemistries with glyphosate are moving more toward mixes and away from rotations, with 83% saying they are tankmixing them with glyphosate (up from 77% in 2012). Some 45% are rotating other chemistries with glyphosate applications (down from 51% in 2012). The use of 2,4-D will increase from 73% in 2012 to 79% this year, while atrazine will be used again by 73% of no-tillers. Other residual or contact herbicides will be used by 76% of no-tillers — up 1% from 2012.

With forecasts calling for yet another hot and dry summer across much of the U.S., conditions may again provide challenges for the effectiveness of herbicide applications.

BASF Technical Market Manager Luke Bozeman said this week that common waterhemp, Palmer amaranth, giant and common ragweed, Italian ryegrass and marestail are all part of a growing group of yield-reducing “watch-out” weeds in the U.S. that have confirmed resistance to multiple herbicides, including glyphosate.

Keeping them in check, he says, will require herbicides with different modes of action, along with identifying local weed pressures and reviewing previous weed escapes on a field-specific basis.

 No-tillers who are getting ahead of this problem, and tweaking and diversifying their weed-control systems, should be applauded. Those that aren’t should seriously begin considering a multi-pronged approach, before the effectiveness of glyphosate as a weed-control tool is lost for good.