Learn How Our Sprayers Virtually Maintain Themselves

We know that providing a low total cost of ownership and decreasing downtime is critical for operators today. Our Apache Precision packages are included in every model, and utilize Raven Viper 4+, allowing for over the air updates and in-cab support.

Perks of our Precision Packages:


Over-the-Air Updates

In-Cab Support

High-speed cellular connectivity to support your Apache sprayer.
Keeps your downtime to a minimum and sprayer running efficiently.

80% of issues can be remotely diagnosed and resolved.

How In-Cab Support works with Apache Sprayers

When you need support, you can depend on your Apache Precision package to connect quickly and securely to your dealer or Apache Application Specialists. 

Here’s how:

  • The factory-installed Raven Viper 4+ field computer works in tandem with the RS1™ antenna to activate the In-Cab Remote support feature.
  • Apache Sprayer Specialists can connect to your sprayer within minutes with your secure and custom password.
  • Once connected, the Apache Specialist will have remote access to your sprayer’s computer system.
  • All three tools combined give Apache Sprayer owners the power to be more accurate, solve problems faster, and cover more acres in a day. 

Precision agriculture improves crop yields, but in-cab support allows operators to lower their cost of ownership and decrease downtime.

Apache Sprayers Help You Stay Organized & Secure

Apache Sprayer operators can track, collect, and analyze data using a secure, real-time online account.

Our system provides you with end-to-end support:

  • Enables you to look back at maps and records from prior seasons to compare one year to the next.
  • Lets you remotely control profiles and settings across an entire fleet of hardware.
  • Gives you the ability to plan, budget, move data to and from the field, and schedule items in ways that were impossible with antiquated thumb drives 
  • Eliminates the risk of lost data and downtime from changes to work orders or prescription maps. 

Want to learn more about our current models? Explore our current models here, or get in the driver’s seat and schedule a demo today.

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Apache Power to the Ground Technology Delivers

Horsepower rating is important – but only when it’s powering your sprayer forward. Apache Sprayers mechanical-drive transmission with patented Apache POWER-TO-THE-GROUND™ technology delivers more horsepower where and when you need it most.

Horsepower versus Torque

Most ag sprayers require more horsepower because of their weight.  Not Apache, in fact, our ag sprayers are engineered to be light in the field for less soil compaction and equipped with horsepower and torque to conquer the toughest field conditions.  Despite simple construction, Apache Sprayers are rugged, dependable and built with the torque-converted power you need to get the job done. 


A full 90 percent of Apache Sprayers horsepower is transferred to the ground, compared to 70 percent from other sprayers.  In fact,  The Apache’s lighter construction provides more Power-to-the-Ground™ than competing sprayers. That way you get a lot more from your horsepower.


Don’t just take our word for it. Apache owners say it best.

There is no issue with power. We have sunk up to one foot in the peat beds, but the Apache just pulls through, and we have never been stuck. Even on the hills, it has never lost power”.

Mark and Scott Jencks
Hawkeye, Iowa

Unmatched Traction

All Apache Sprayers feature a flex-frame construction that ensures all four wheels are always on the ground. Lock-up torque converter and limited-slip differential create constant contact with the ground rear wheels and keep them turning no matter the field conditions.

Power Conversion

A torque converter doubles the engine’s ability to push the Apache through tough terrain, while a JCB limited-slip differential allows for sharper turns and better traction.

Sprayer Weight Matters

Heavier machines consume more fuel. Ever wondered what makes them heavier in the first place? Typically, it’s due to additional parts and components that you may someday have to replace. More horsepower is required to move that machine and its chemical product load. Lighter sprayers like the Apache get the same job done – while using less horsepower and fuel – and create less soil compaction for increased crop yields.

Apache Sprayers mechanical-drive, with patented POWER-TO-THE-GROUND™ technology, delivers more horsepower where and when you need it most”.

Equipment Technologies Research and Development

Reliable Cummins Engines

Simplicity and reliability, that is what you get with Apache Sprayers. In fact, our Cummins Tier 4 Final engines are simple to maintain and they get more done while costing you less to operate. Therefore, already fuel-efficient Apaches become even greater energy misers in 2020 – cutting fuel consumption by 15-21 percent across all models.


Don’t just take our word for it come and see for yourself the power and performance of Apache Sprayers during our Demo field events. Request a Demo

About Equipment Technologies (ET)
Equipment Technologies is a manufacturer of self-propelled and mechanical drive sprayers. Headquartered in Mooresville, Indiana, Equipment Technologies creates Apache Sprayers and Bruin Sprayers for distribution throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and C.I.S. Learn more


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Apache Sprayers Wins EquipmentWatch 2020 Highest Retained Value Award

MOORESVILLE, Indiana, {3/04/2020}
— On March 2, 2020, EquipmentWatch named Equipment Technologies (ET) as a four-time award winner for Highest Retained Value for the Apache AS Series Sprayer. The EquipmentWatch 2020 Highest Retained Value Awards cover 50 categories of construction, lift/access, and agricultural equipment, and are powered by EquipmentWatch’s industry-leading database.

“The EquipmentWatch Awards program is the culmination of months of work by the best data analysts in the business, evaluating millions of value and cost data points,” explains Michael Quinlan, Jr., Manager of Data Structuring. “That impartial, unbiased detail reinforces the trust our customers have come to rely on from EquipmentWatch.”

EquipmentWatch calculated the Apache AS Series to retain the highest percentage of its original value after a five-year period based on the comprehensive EquipmentWatch market activity database.

“For purchasers of equipment, there is perhaps no single measurement more influential in the buying decision process,” said Garrett Schemmel, Vice President of EquipmentWatch. “The residual value of an asset will have a significant impact on leasing terms and lifetime ownership costs. Informed buyers do well to weigh value retention heavily when considering equipment acquisition.

“The Highest Retained Value Award is indicative of excellence across a manufacturing organization,” Schemmel said. “Product quality has the most obvious impact on an asset’s performance on the secondary market, but residual values are also highly impacted by brand affinity and fair original pricing. A manufacturer must excel on all three fronts to gain recognition as a Highest Retained Value Award winner.”

Visit EquipmentWatch 2020 to view the full list of 2020 winners.

Visit Equipment Technologies to view the complete lineup of Apache Sprayers.

About Equipment Technologies (ET)

Equipment Technologies is a manufacturer of self-propelled and mechanical drive sprayers. Headquartered in Mooresville, Indiana, Equipment Technologies creates Apache Sprayers and Bruin Sprayers for distribution throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and C.I.S. Learn more about Equipment Technologies at  etsprayers.com.

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Get More Boom for Your Buck with Apache Sprayers

Aluminum Boom Sprayer

It’s not a secret that time equals money, especially in farming. Unpredictable weather, weeds, and pests are challenging enough. But most growers will tell you that their biggest issue is waiting around on custom applicators to spray their fields. Why wait when you can get more boom for your buck with Apache Sprayers equipped with Pommier Booms- the longest, lightest and strongest aluminum booms on the planet.


Pommier, the global leader in aluminum booms, provides superior strength while retaining industry-leading weight advantage. Because aluminum is about one-third the weight of steel, engineers can forge booms that are stronger yet lighter. Less weight equals less soil compaction, improving crop yields and giving growers More Boom for their Buck.



Still, think that aluminum booms don’t hold up? Think again, pound for pound Pommier aluminum booms are engineered to be strong like steel, yet lightweight in the field  Plus, the unique break-away and spring-back Pommier boom feature, safeguards against structural damage from obstacle impact. Reach more and spray more with Apache Sprayers and the best aluminum booms.



Better boom cushioning results in less wear and tear on the boom and the operator. Pommier Aluminum Booms are smartly designed to reduce maintenance and prolong boom-life. The hydraulic cylinders and ball joints work together to provide maximum control and flexibility. Apache Sprayers and Pommier Booms work just as hard as you do.

Timing is everything, and owning an Apache Sprayer has never been easier. Get back in the driver’s seat and get more boom for your buck with Apache Sprayers equipped with Pommier Aluminum Booms.  Request a test drive demo and get a free, no-obligation quote. We guarantee that by the next harvest, you will be glad you did.

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Herbicide Buying Tips: Learn From Past Wins and Losses

Account for what’s worked and buy smart to sustain herbicide efficacy.

Every growing season presents its own unique challenges. A weed that hammers a crop one year may not make so much as a minor appearance in the same fields the following year. With such variability in potential weed pressures from year to year, herbicide availability may be affected, making it important to know when and what product to buy to be prepared for the next weed outbreak.

In today’s tight grain marketplace, efficiency with crop inputs like herbicide applications is a high priority for many row crop and small grain farmers. Any good herbicide strategy elevates preparedness and enables the farmer to act quickly when weed pressures pop up. Mother Nature always plays a large role in what weeds will cause headaches each year, but there are a few ways to be ready by focusing on the variables that you can control.

What has worked in the past?

The process starts before you’re even to the point of making a herbicide purchase, and it begins by looking back and relying on production records from previous years. Are there any patterns to when specific weeds were problematic in your fields? Look closely at the previous year’s data; in some cases, weed seeds can overwinter and become a problem across more than one growing season, according to Iowa State University Extension Field Agronomist Meaghan Anderson.

“Rather than just falling back on old habits, analyze your [herbicide] program closely to look for improvements for future years,” Anderson said in a university report. “Surviving weeds from this year will affect weed pressure in next year’s crops. Identifying this season’s management successes and failures will make weed management and herbicide purchase decisions easier this winter.”

When is the best time to buy? 

Taking this deeper look at your herbicide program from year to year can help with not only what you buy, but when you buy it. Though it may be old habit to wait until specific weed pressures develop before you purchase the necessary herbicide product, University of Illinois Crop Science Specialist and Weed Scientist Aaron Hager encourages farmers to make earlier, more informed purchase decisions based on field-specific production data. Doing so typically offers cost savings over buying product during the growing season, especially if the weed pressure is more geographically widespread.

“Usually, fall purchases offer a bit better price compared to in-season purchase,” Hager said.

Environmental conditions can also give you a feel for what specific types of products will perform best. Knowing your soil types, as well as having a basic idea of the range of weather conditions your crop may face next year are helpful in determining which herbicide products should perform best in your fields. In addition to any weed pressures you faced this year, these variables can help nail down things such as herbicide mode of action in what you purchase in planning for next year’s crop.

“Weeds that are exposed to the herbicide can survive application for any number of reasons, and determining why is important for avoiding repeat problems. The main factors influencing the activity of preemergence herbicides are soil type and rainfall. Was the application rate appropriate for the soil type, or was rainfall adequate to activate the herbicide and make it available in the weed seed germination zone?” Anderson said. “Postemergence herbicides are influenced by many factors, including weed size, environmental conditions, spray additives and spray coverage. Spraying weeds that exceed the maximum size specified on the herbicide label is probably the number one cause of postemergence herbicide failures. Finally, weeds may survive due to the presence of herbicide resistance within the field. When resistance is just beginning to evolve within a field, escapes are usually found in discrete patches, and it is often possible to find surviving plants immediately adjacent to dead individuals of the same species.

What are other things to consider?

“The final step is to use this information to make decisions for next year. Surviving weeds may warrant a change in product or herbicide site of action, increased herbicide application rates or use of a more innovative approach, like a layered residual program,” Anderson added.

As with any crop protection product or mechanism, it’s best to scout your fields and take note of specific weed pressures you’ve faced. The best time to do so is in the middle of the growing season, Anderson said. It’s also important to pay close attention to herbicide labels to ensure you’re planning for and purchasing products that you can apply during the optimal treatment windows.

Do you have the right equipment to apply herbicide when it’s needed most? The right sprayer can go a long way to ensuring your herbicide applications are cost-effective and provide the weed control you need. Check out the features on the latest Apache Sprayer models to see which one is right for your operation.

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G&J Ag: Reintroducing Apache Sprayers to Southeast Missouri

Longtime dealers; maintenance technicians see Apache Sprayers as a good fit for variety of farm operations

A lot of farmers around Oak Ridge, Missouri, know Tim Johnson and Duane Green. And now, the business partners are bringing a familiar name back to the area’s machinery sector.

Johnson and Green operate and manage G&J Ag in Oak Ridge. The dealership and maintenance shop also sells and services equipment from MacDon, Demco, Unverferth, McFarlane, Bush Hog and McCormick and will be providing maintenance and repair for Apache Sprayers. Sales and parts inventory from Equipment Technologies dealership Southern Application Management in Batesville, Mississippi will also provide additional benefits to owners.

“We used to have an Apache Sprayers dealer here, and they sold well over the years. People here know the Apache Sprayers name,” Johnson said. “Duane and I have both built up quite a customer base here, so bringing Apache back to this area seemed like a good fit for everyone.”

Meeting growing producer needs

It’s a good time for G&J to add Apache Sprayers to its sales and service lineup. Consolidation in the machinery sector has created a resurgence in interest among producers in working with a dealer. That’s especially true with companies like G&J, with both Johnson and Green having decades of experience in sales and service, including previous experience with larger manufacturers.

“We’ve sold a lot of sprayers over the years,” Johnson said. “We are basically handling parts and service. We’re bringing in a dedicated technician and our ultimate goal is to keep him busy year-round with Apache Sprayers. We hope to bring a lot of Apache Sprayers to this part of the country.”

Why Apache Sprayers align with G&J customers

A few components and qualities of Apache Sprayers will be key to that kind of expansion among the wide range of farm size and crop mixes that characterizes the G&J customer base. Their customers, Green said, range from 500-20,000 acres, with many around 1,500-2,000 acres. Despite that size variability, the high spraying demand and common ground conditions make the light weight of Apache Sprayers a popular feature in row crop and cotton acres.

“Other sprayers are getting so heavy and you have 15 different controllers for the boom and other components,” Johnson said. “Apache Sprayers are straightforward, simple to maintain and farmers I talk to love their light weight and simplicity. We have a lot of ‘gumbo’ bottom ground where weight becomes a major concern. These machines work well in conditions like those.”

Adding Apache Sprayers will help Green and Johnson complete their lineup of key machinery for their customers.

“The Apache lineup is a really good fit for us,” Green said. “We have offered harvest and tillage equipment, so adding these sprayers is something we needed. We’re excited to bring them on.”

Want to learn more? Listen to real Apache Sprayer owners and their love for Apache Sprayers.

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Grauer Repair Service offers Oregon farmers the ‘simplistic elegance’ of Apache Sprayers

Family-owned Willamette Valley company becomes PNW region’s newest Apache Sprayers dealer.

Oregon’s Willamette Valley is world-renowned for Pinot Noir made from its more than 19,000 acres of vineyards in the area stretching from Portland to Eugene. The area is rich in agriculture beyond wine grapes with high volumes of filberts and grass crops — that means big business and high demand for ag sprayers as grasses require multiple passes through the field.

Grauer Repair Service in Sheridan, Oregon, is the newest Apache and Bruin Sprayers dealer in the Pacific Northwest, focusing primarily on supporting the region’s farmers working in the grass seed sector.

“Sprayers are running nine months out of the year here, mainly applying fungicides and growth regulators,” said Grauer Repair Service machinery sales and maintenance manager, Fraser Holmes. “We also fertilize at least twice a year, with different fertilizer products applied depending on the time of year.”

A family business

Grauer Repair Service is a family business started by longtime machinery service technician Dennis Grauer in 1987. Today, Grauer’s son, Travis, owns the company that Holmes describes as a “local, small customer-focused dealership.”

“We run hard. There are only seven of us, but our biggest advantage and something we prioritize is service,” Holmes said. “It’s a big buzzword around the industry, but for us, it’s not. It’s just how we operate.”

That was one of the reasons Grauer Repair Service initially gravitated toward Equipment Technologies (ET) as a company partner. Holmes saw the same commitment to service in the ET team that he and the Grauer family emphasize in how they serve their customers. The other reason: Apache Sprayers embody a few key characteristics Holmes said are important to their customers.

“The biggest thing our customers appreciate most about Apache Sprayers is their light weight. That’s huge for producers in this area. You can put bigger tires on an Apache and you won’t get bogged down and cause compaction,” Holmes explained. “Apache Sprayers are the lightest on the market by far, and that makes them a big win for our customers.”

‘Simplistic elegance’

Apache Sprayers also feature straightforward, simple controls which makes the machines a good fit for local farmers. Holmes expects as Grauer Repair Service introduces more customers to Apache Sprayers, they will embrace the machines’ features just as he has.

“If you purchase a competitor’s machine, there are so many controls and buttons in the cab that you’re never going to use in your life. An Apache Sprayer is simple, user-friendly and grower-oriented. They just have a simplistic elegance to them,” Holmes said. “We’re optimistic our customers will be drawn to those features as well.”

Learn more about the features and benefits of Apache Sprayers. Find your nearest dealer here.

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Unique Spraying Challenges in 2019

How to overcome unique spraying challenges.

So, you planted late. Now what?

Whether you planted late due to the weather or didn’t get your crops all in the ground at all this spring, you’re likely going to face some unique weed control and spraying challenges as your crops race toward maturation and the highest potential yield.

If you were able to get your crop planted — or most of them — some acres were likely not sown during the optimal planting window. If that was the case, your weed control strategies may need to change as your crops mature, according to University of Nebraska Extension Weed Management Educator Chris Procter.

When using any herbicide containing atrazine, for example, you can only apply that product when the corn is 12 inches tall or shorter. Applying later than that could mean significant crop damage. Glyphosate can be applied to corn up to 30 inches tall. Post-emergence herbicide applications like these are effective. But they require different management than those earlier in the season, a timeframe that may have closed before many late-planting farmers were able to get into the field to spray, thus causing spraying challenges.

“Even the best weed management plans sometimes fail due to circumstances outside our control. Weeds like marestail, waterhemp and Palmer amaranth can be particularly difficult to control mid-season. For each of these weeds, an aggressive strategy to manage escaped weeds is critical. If the area of escaped weeds is relatively small, a target herbicide application or hand rogueing is the best option to prevent the weeds from infesting a much larger area the following year,” Procter said in a university report. “Extra effort in year one when the problem is relatively small will save a lot of time and money in subsequent years.”

In addition to managing weed escapes later on in the growing season, each product’s residual effect must be accounted for as it relates to both your neighbor and your specific crop rotation, and the possibility you could be causing problems for next year.

“When making postemergence herbicide applications, crop safety is an important consideration as is the potential for off-target injury to a neighboring field,” Procter said. “When making in-season applications, consider crop rotation restrictions as fall cover crops or spring rotational crops may be affected, depending on the herbicide selected.”

Late to the field? Fine-tune your herbicide applications with our experts tips.

Didn’t get to plant at all?

What if you had to file Prevented Planting (PP) claims with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency (USDA-RMA)? You may not have a crop in the ground in some of your fields, but that doesn’t mean you can forget about weed control this year. Winter or summer annuals allowed to produce seeds will only complicate weed control next year if left untreated, leading to even more spraying challenges, according to University of Illinois Extension Plant Protection and Weed Science Specialist Aaron Hager.

“Any weed seed produced in 2019 will add to future weed control costs. The old weed science adage ‘One year’s seedling equals seven years weeding’ reinforces the need to adequately manage weeds on prevented planting acres,” Hager said in a university report. “Many species of winter annual weeds already have flowered and soon will produce seed. Additionally, many summer annual weed species have emerged and are growing rapidly. We suggest the focus of weed management on prevented planting acres should be on summer annual weed species. Several options exist that could be used singly or in combination to keep weeds under control.”

There are a number of options for knocking down weeds in a field where you’ve filed a PP claim. Tillage and mowing are historically popular options but less effective when soils are wet, or weeds are larger. Cover crops can help limit the growth of any summer annual weeds but require tillage or an early herbicide application prior to planting.

Posted in Ask the Application Specialists, Field Reports | Leave a comment

Testimonial: The AS640 Makes a Tough Year Easier

The AS640 sprayer
Months of excessive moisture ups the ante for the new AS640.

Kenneth Hiser grows corn, soybeans and wheat in the “dead center of Kentucky,” near the small town of Big Clifty. He’s faced a challenge that is common for many farmers in 2019: Excessive moisture starting in early spring and persisting through the early summer has made it difficult for him to get his crops planted and sprayed in the “normal” timeframe.

“We farm about 2,000 acres and will probably spray our wheat three times this year,” said Hiser, who purchased an Apache AS640 in December 2018 to cover his spraying needs, which also include two passes through his corn acres and three passes through his soybeans.

The spring weather challenge followed an equally soggy fall, when corn and soybean harvest meant a lot of mud and ruts. Normally a no-till farmer, Hiser spent much of the start to the 2019 growing season conducting vertical tillage to smooth out the ruts left after fall harvest.

On top of the rush to finish planting soybeans, Hiser found himself facing rust disease issues in his wheat crop in mid-June, necessitating a full fungicide program for his crop.

Features that matter in a wet year

Though so much of the last 8-10 months have been a rush on his farm, spawned by repeated heavy rains that have kept him out of the field at key times, Hiser is more confident in his spraying operations with his new AS640. This is the third Apache Sprayer the former Spra-Coup operator has owned in the last decade. He previously owned an Apache AS715 and Apache AS720.

“What I liked about the AS640 is that it’s lighter and I could get the bigger tires on it,” Hiser said. “We have a lot of wet ground, and it’s on the sandy side. The weight of the machine helps it go places where you wouldn’t think it’d be able to go in the field.”

Kenneth Hiser from Kentucky owns an AS640

The Apache AS640 is the lightest self-propelled sprayer made by Equipment Technologies, weighing in under 17,000 lbs.


The maneuverability and coverage potential the AS640’s light weight provides persists despite the machine being two-wheel drive. While Hiser said he was originally a bit skeptical about the absence of four-wheel drive, he noted that he’s not had one occasion when he would have needed the heavier, more expensive drivetrain.


“I actually believe this machine will go anywhere a bigger four-wheel drive sprayer will go,” Hiser said. “Even though it’s a two-wheel drive machine, it will go just about anywhere. It’s amazing. It’ll just go.”

Hiser typically operates each Apache Sprayer he’s purchased for about three growing seasons before he’s ready for a trade-in. The combination of in-field performance, as well as the machines’ simplicity, will have Hiser looking to purchase another Apache Sprayer when he’s ready to trade in his new AS640.

“I’m 65 years old, and I like simplicity. These Apache machines were such a step up from the old Spra-Coupes, but still not as expensive as bigger machines,” he said. “Three years from now, I’ll be looking at a new Apache.”


Learn more about the Apache AS640. Ready to get serious? Locate your nearest dealer, or schedule a demo!

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Herbicide Resistance: 5 Things to Know

Know your weeds, herbicides for effective control, minimal resistance.

Herbicide resistance is costly and difficult to control. Once herbicide-resistant weeds are in your fields, they necessitate major changes in crop management and continued vigilance so they won’t return. Understanding herbicide resistance is a good first step in employing management strategies to prevent the conditions conducive to its development.

Though glyphosate resistance covers many of the headlines today — with 15 weed species confirmed to be resistant to the common herbicide in the last two decades in the U.S. — weeds can develop resistance to any product or mode of action (MOA), especially if that chemical is not applied according to label specifications. In recent years, weeds like waterhemp, Palmer amaranth and kochia have developed resistance to multiple herbicides, raising alarm for farmers and chemical applicators to become more vigilant about weed control.

A strong weed control strategy in your fields starts with a comprehensive understanding of its causes and mechanics. Here are five important things to think about when diagnosing the efficacy of your weed control strategy.

1. Susceptibility, tolerance and resistance

Though no weed is desirable, if you have them, you want them to be susceptible. Herbicide susceptibility, according to North Carolina State University Extension Pesticide Safety Education Specialist Wayne Buhler, is defined as “the degree to which a plant is subject to injury or death due to a particular herbicide.”

Herbicide-tolerant weeds are less susceptible but can be managed by the right herbicides, unlike resistant ones, which have adapted and have no susceptibility. Knowing whether you’re facing tolerance or resistance will go a long way to determining the changes necessary to restore effective weed management.

“Herbicide resistance causes changes in the composition of the population because of resistant biotypes,” Buhler said. “At very low frequencies in the weed population, resistant biotypes build up when the herbicide to which those individuals are resistant is used repeatedly.” 

2. Herbicide modes of action

Repeated successive applications of the same chemical — or different products with the same mode of action (MOA) — is a common cause of developing herbicide tolerance and resistance in weeds. Knowing the MOA (here’s one good source with some common products and MOAs) of what you’re applying is important to a strong weed control strategy. If you detect you have weeds that are developing a tolerance to what you’re applying, knowing its MOA is the first step to determining how you can adjust your strategy to integrate a different MOA and sustain overall control.

“Mode of action describes the plant processes affected by the herbicide, or the entire sequence of events that results in death of susceptible plants. It includes absorption, translocation, metabolism and interaction at the site of action. Target site of action or mechanism of action is the exact location of inhibition, such as interfering with the activity of an enzyme within a metabolic pathway,” Buhler said. “Herbicides are organized by families that share a common chemical structure and express similar herbicidal activity on plants. Of the hundreds of different herbicides on the market today, many of them work in exactly the same way or, in other words, have the same mechanism of action. Fewer than 30 plant-growth mechanisms are affected by current herbicides.”

3. Different resistance types

In some cases, weeds may have developed resistance to more than one MOA. Both multiple-resistance and cross-resistance are a result of weed plants adapting to different weed control strategies that lose efficacy over time.

“Multiple-resistance is the phenomenon in which a weed is resistant to two or more herbicides having different mechanisms of action. Multiple-resistance can happen if an herbicide is used until a weed population displays resistance and then another herbicide is used repeatedly and the same weed population also becomes resistant to the second herbicide, and so on. Multiple-resistance can also occur through the transfer of pollen between sexually compatible individuals that are carrying different resistant genes,” Buhler said.

“Cross-resistance occurs when the genetic trait that made the weed population resistant to one herbicide also makes it resistant to other herbicides with the same mechanism of action. Cross-resistance is more common than multiple-resistance, but multiple resistance is potentially of greater concern because it reduces the number of herbicides that can be used to control the weed in question.”

4. Potential weed population shifts

No field has just one invasive species. Knowing the mix of weed pressures you face, how that mix changes over time, and the overall herbicide susceptibility of those weeds can help determine the most effective chemical to apply. Often, that decision is a moving target, making it important to continue monitoring how weed populations ebb and flow.

“A weed population shift is a change over time in the relative abundance of the species comprising a weed population. With the repeated use of an herbicide, certain species may become dominant due to selection for those that are tolerant. In some cases, weed shifts can also occur when a ‘low’ rate is used repeatedly and more difficult to control species may become dominant. These populations are not herbicide resistant,” Buhler said. “For example, say Species A and Species B are susceptible to a particular herbicide while Species C is tolerant of that herbicide. Species A and Species B both originally comprise 49% of the population while Species C makes up only 2% of the population. With repeated use of that particular herbicide, the percentage of the population comprised of Species A and Species B decreases over time while Species C makes up a greater percentage of the population.”

5. Machinery’s role in herbicide-resistant weeds

On top of the chemical and genetic bases for developing herbicide resistance in invasive plants, there’s also a mechanical component. Things like the order in which fields are treated can create resistance issues. That’s why it’s important to know where you face the highest resistance potential, as sometimes the movement of plant materials from field-to-field can help resistance develop faster.

“If the resistant weed is confined to relatively small areas, take steps to prevent seed production. If the weed is still small enough to control with other herbicides, treat the affected spots. Do not let resistant weeds go to seed,” Buhler said. “Avoid moving seed or vegetative propagules to other fields and farms. Use a power washer or compressed air to help remove seed and plant parts from any equipment used in the field. If any fields have a history of herbicide-resistant weeds, use farm equipment in those fields last.”

Manage to prevent resistance

There are a few key steps to reducing the likelihood that weeds in your fields will develop herbicide resistance. First and foremost, rotating herbicides with different modes of action will prevent weeds from developing tolerance, and later resistance. Sometimes, though, that’s easier said than done. If a specific herbicide offers strong broad-spectrum or residual control, it may not be feasible to switch to another product. If that’s the case, resistance can be prevented by timing applications differently.

“In many cases the herbicide continues to work on a large number of weeds and is still the best choice for overall weed control. If the decision is made to continue using the herbicide, there are several options. Use proactive weed control (pre-plant or pre-emergence) with an herbicide tank mixture or pre-pack having at least one mechanism of action that is known to control the resistant weed,” Buhler said. “Use post-emergence herbicides only in tank mixtures or pre-packs with at least one mechanism of action that is known to control the resistant weed. Any of these options provides at least one additional MOA that will help to prevent further spread of the resistant weed. In addition, other weed control tools should be used to complement the MOA that is still active on the resistant weed so that undue selection pressure is not placed on the additional MOA.”

Have more questions about managing your chemical applications? Learn more on our Ask the Application Specialists page.

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