Pest resistance management from hospitals to farm fields

March 12, 2018 1:13 PM
Blog Post

Pest resistance is a world-wide challenge from hospitals to farm fields. I recently spent several days in the hospital battling an internal bacterial infection, which required intravenous antibiotics. I noted that the medical staff:

  1. properly identified the bacteria causing the infection.
  2. identified which antibiotic active ingredients were effective against the bacteria identified.
  3. addressed potential resistance issues by rotating between antibiotics, sifting through all of the brand names to be sure they were not sequentially using two antibiotics that were the same thing but sold under different names.
  4. used full rates of the antibiotics.
  5. administered the antibiotics in a timely fashion.
  6. monitored the results to assure success.

One of my nurses, who knows nothing about farming, asked if pest (disease, insect, and weed) resistance management for farmers is as big a challenge as it is in the medical field. My response was an emphatic, “Yes!” And I noted to the nurse that we tell farmers, dealers, and consultants to be sure to:

  1. properly identify the pest.
  2. select products effective against the pest.
  3. use multiple sites of action.
  4. use full rates of active ingredients.
  5. make applications in a timely manner.
  6. scout after the application to determine success.

We each need to make the same effort in pest resistance management on our farms that I observed while I was in the hospital.


Virgil Schmitt Field Agronomist in SE Iowa

Virgil Schmitt has been in his current position since 1992, although counties he's covered have changed over time.

He's worked as an extension 4-H and youth leader in Butler and Grundy Counties and as an extension agriculturist in Linn County, Iowa. He taught high school agricultural ed...