Rely Herbicide In Short Supply

Bayer CropScience logo

Fruit and nut growers, especially in the West, are facing shortages of the popular herbicide Rely (glufosinate, Bayer CropScience). According to Bayer, demand for the active ingredient in Rely 280 (glufosinate) increased significantly in 2012 and is expected to increase again in 2013. This increase is due to the rapid spread of herbicide-resistant weeds across crops and geographies.

Rely has become a mainstay for fruit and nut growers needing a broad-spectrum burndown herbicide to control tough weeds like filaree, willow weed, or glyphosate-resistant fleabane and marestail, according to Brad Hanson, University of California Cooperative Extension weed specialist. During the 2012 season, California was in short supply of Rely due to the high demand in the Midwest for planting glufosinate corn varieties, he says, and in recent years, the development and spread of Roundup-resistant weeds is forcing a change from Roundup Ready corn and soybeans varieties to planting LibertyLink varieties which require the use of glufosinate herbicide (Rely, Liberty).

In a written statement, Bayer says it is investing to increase the global production of the active ingredient in Rely to help ensure an adequate supply in coming years. “In the short term, demand for the active ingredient in Rely 280 will continue to increase more rapidly than manufacturing capabilities can be expanded, and we anticipate a shortage of the active ingredient in 2013. Bayer CropScience remains committed to providing producers in the horticulture market with viable pest control solutions and will continue to keep the market informed of updates.”

Only Look Alike

Glufosinate is classified as a “Group 10, or Group B” herbicide and inhibits an enzyme important in the production of the amino acid glutamine in plants, says Hanson. Although it sounds similar to another amino acid inhibitor, glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup and others), glufosinate works quite differently than the Group 9 herbicide glyphosate. 

Because it has a different mode of action than glyphosate, glufosinate has become very important in California orchards and vineyards — especially those struggling with glyphosate-resistant weeds like horseweed (e.g. mare’s tail), hairy fleabane, rye grass, and jungle rice. The scarcity of glufosinate in California seems to driven by glyphosate-resistant weeds in other cropping systems in other parts of the country, he says. The active ingredient glufosinate in Rely 280 is the same one used in Ignite, Liberty, Basta, and Finale herbicides, and several of these are used in LibertyLink crops such as cotton, corn, canola, and soybeans, as well as a few other crops.

As well as being much larger markets (several hundred million acres) than such “minor” crops as trees and vines, Hanson says some of these cropping systems have much more serious glyphosate-resistant weed problems than fruit growers do. Hanson says if you want to see how bad the Midwesterners have it, do an Internet search for glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth or water hemp. “Until production of the active ingredient can be ramped up to meet the national demand, most of the glufosinate will be sucked out of our markets in California in 2013,” he says, “and the forecast for 2014 is not very optimistic either.”

Make Plans Now

With the heavy use expected in corn states, fruit growers should plan on alternative weed control strategies that will replace the use of Rely, says Hanson. “We are confident with the post- and pre-emergent herbicide combinations we have available and used in a timely manner, we can still expect excellent weed control results,” he says.

What should fruit growers do? Actually, a sound strategy should start with the same things you should be doing every year: planning ahead, scouting fields, and rotating herbicide modes of action. For growers in California, because as 2013 was dawning it was looking like a soaker of a rain year, it would be a good time to investigate some of the pre-emergence herbicides available. The herbicide susceptibility chart at the University of California’s Weed Research & Information Center, which can be found online at http://wric.ucdavis.edu, is still a good resource for growers and crop advisors planning weed management strategies for the coming season, says Hanson.

In its statement, Bayer notes Alion herbicide offers outstanding pre-emergence weed control in many of the same fruit, nut, and vine crops that are managed by Rely 280. “Bayer CropScience remains committed to providing producers in the horticulture market with viable pest control solutions and will resume production of Rely 280 when supplies reach a sufficient level.”

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

3 comments on “Rely Herbicide In Short Supply

  1. RELY IS BEING USED FOR THE CORN AND SOY CROPS GROWN BY MONSANTO, THIS IS THE SAME STORY AS LAST YEAR. AND ISN'T BAYER OWNED OR AFFILIATED WITH MONSANTO?

  2. Fruit and nut producers need to understand weeds are getting resistant to the cheap generics like glyphosate, simazine and clethodim etc and the new chemistries are going to have their supply managed tightly by their manufacturers to extract their full pound of flesh out of your weed management budget. Glufosinate is one example but also the new grass herbicide Sakura. There is only one true way to manage the ever rising cost of managing weeds and that is to use miniature sheep (eg southdown, ouessant, microsheep) to graze weeds. The world's apetite for meat will keep growing.

  3. We are successfully using sheep to manage our glyphosate resistant ryegrass problem. We've had to work to get the orchards sheep friendly, eg fencing, tree guards, but the rewards have been annual reduction to zero in herbicide cost and revenue from sheep sales. The miniature breeds are hard to get your hands on but once you have them you can also be guaranteed of firm prices when you have some to sell yourself as the trend is toward sheep in plantations/orchards. Do you think herbicides will get cheaper in the future? Not a chance …

Fruits Stories

Apples & PearsBeware Of Fruit Rots During Apple Harvest
September 2, 2014
Conditions lately have been ripe for fungi fiasco. Read More
Farm ManagementTrimble’s Connected Farm Now Includes Field Data Management Solution for Farmers, Advisors
September 2, 2014
Trimble adds two apps that work with their Connected Farm Web-based solution, providing growers and their advisors with more detailed field information. Read More
FruitsTips To Help You Manage Postharvest Ripening
September 2, 2014
Humidity, ethylene, and temperature can all impact fruit quality. Read More
CitrusHarness The Marketing Power Of Video
September 1, 2014
Multimedia platform is an effective and inexpensive marketing tool for you to attract new customers and keep existing ones loyal to your brand. Read More
Florida Ag ExpoFood Safety Modernization Act Is On The Plate
September 1, 2014
Florida Ag Expo agenda to serve up important features of looming regulations. Read More
CEU SeriesCEU Series: Put Weeds Out To Pasture
September 1, 2014
No matter where they are, plants out of place can be problematic. Read More
Farm ManagementLeadership And Management Expert To Speak At California Agriculture Seminar
August 27, 2014
Daniel Goleman will make presentation at California State University-Fresno. Read More

The Latest

Farm ManagementStudy Shows ‘Megadrought’ On The Radar For …
September 2, 2014
Global warming trends fuel parched prediction from scientists. Read More
Farm ManagementTrimble’s Connected Farm Now Includes Field Data Mana…
September 2, 2014
Trimble adds two apps that work with their Connected Farm Web-based solution, providing growers and their advisors with more detailed field information. Read More
FruitsTips To Help You Manage Postharvest Ripening
September 2, 2014
Humidity, ethylene, and temperature can all impact fruit quality. Read More
CitrusHarness The Marketing Power Of Video
September 1, 2014
Multimedia platform is an effective and inexpensive marketing tool for you to attract new customers and keep existing ones loyal to your brand. Read More
Florida Ag ExpoFood Safety Modernization Act Is On The Plate
September 1, 2014
Florida Ag Expo agenda to serve up important features of looming regulations. Read More
CEU SeriesCEU Series: Put Weeds Out To Pasture
September 1, 2014
No matter where they are, plants out of place can be problematic. Read More
Farm ManagementLeadership And Management Expert To Speak At California…
August 27, 2014
Daniel Goleman will make presentation at California State University-Fresno. Read More
CitrusNational Scientific Summit On Herbicide Resistant Weeds…
August 27, 2014
Topics to be covered include the economics of proactively managing herbicide resistance, education and outreach efforts, and incentives and regulatory initiatives. Read More
FruitsFlorida Organic Group Dedicated To Serving Growers, Com…
August 27, 2014
Education and development programs are plentiful for interested producers. Read More
CitrusClean Water Conundrum: Ditch The Rule Or Ditch The Myth…
August 26, 2014
Regulation inundation causing a rising tide of confusion for farmers. Read More
FruitsSpotted Wing Drosophila Populations Rising In Michigan
August 26, 2014
Extension researchers advise berry growers on trapping, salt testing to take stock of pest population. Read More
Citrus‘Super Cold’ Winter, Sizzling Summer On Tap In 2015…
August 21, 2014
The 223rd edition of the folksy regional forecast manual predicting extremes. Read More
CitrusBorder Crisis Not Helping Farmers
August 19, 2014
As thousands cross into the U.S. seeking refuge, calls for ag labor reform are lost in the uproar. Read More
FruitsHandheld Produce Quality Meter Debuts At 2014 Internati…
August 19, 2014
Researchers to present data measuring dry matter, color, and sugar content of cherries and other product pre- and postharvest. Read More
FruitsEuropean Fruit And Vegetable Growers Hit By Russian Ban…
August 19, 2014
Angry at European Union/United States sanctions over Ukraine, Russia has banned many food imports. Read More
Crop ProtectionBioConsortia Inc. Bolsters Executive Team
August 18, 2014
Industry veterans Christina Huben and Dr. Susan Turner bring experience to plant biotechnology firm. Read More
CitrusFlorida’s Future Farming Leaders Dig Up Knowledge…
August 15, 2014
Class 3 of FFVA's Emerging Leader Development Program learn a lot from road trip to California's Salinas Valley. Read More
CitrusWater Bond Will Appear On California Ballot
August 14, 2014
Voters will decide if thirsty state will spend $7.5 billion, including $2.7 billion for storage. Read More