I’m spending the week in Miami, Florida covering the first annual Bayer Crop Science Pan-American Weed Resistance Conference. Among a handful of U.S. agricultural journalists here, I’m looking forward to a few days of intense discussions on the growing global issue of weed resistance. Ohio is certainly not alone in dealing with issues of weeds becoming resistant to some of our most potent crop protection products, and the challenge is one of heightening importance in specific areas of our state.
Bayer is hosting nearly 300 agricultural professionals at the conference this week, including a contingent of their own experts and staffers, members of the media, but most importantly, perhaps, members of the academic and research communities. The schedule is fairly intensive, and we’ve already heard from Bayer Crop Science CEO Bill Buckner, Head of Portfolio Management Dr. Rudiger Scheitza, and Director of Herbicide Research Hermann Stubler about the scope and severity of the challenge.
Dr. Stubler, for example, predicts herbicide resistance issues will affect 14 million acres in the United States by the year 2010, while Dr. Scheitza pointed out that global food production must double by 2050.