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Former weed specialist back on the job

Battling weed resistance will be hard work, says Kim Brown-Livingston

Herbicide resistance is a growing concern due to glyphosate-resistant kochia (seen here) and the yet small but aggressively spreading waterhemp.

Kim Brown-Livingston says she’s optimistic as she takes the role of provincial weed specialist.

“We have a great future,” she said. “We’re going to continue on, and our farmers are doing a really good job of it now.”

Brown-Livingston previously held the role of weed specialist from 1998 to 2013 before moving on to work as an agronomist in private industry. She returned to the post at the beginning of February.

She takes over for Tammy Jones, who stepped down in July.

Brown-Livingston said she’s excited to be back. “This is a wonderful industry to be in,” she said.

She said while today’s challenges are similar to when she left the role in 2013, they’ve evolved. Herbicide resistance has become even more of a concern including glyphosate-resistant kochia and the yet small but aggressively spreading waterhemp. “It’s the same, but it’s so much worse,” said Brown-Livingston.

It’s become critical to keep up with herbicide chemistries and histories, she said. Few new chemistries are coming out year to year, but they’re coming out under new names, in new combinations or generics, she said.

It will be hard work to slow herbicide resistance, she said, but it can be done.

“I’m not in any way pessimistic,” Brown-Livingston said. “We have to just keep ahead of the weeds.”

About the author

Reporter

Geralyn Wichers

Geralyn Wichers grew up on a hobby farm near Anola, Manitoba, where her family raised cattle, pigs and chickens. Geralyn graduated from Red River College’s Creative Communications program in 2019 and was previously a reporter for The Carillon in Steinbach. Geralyn is also a published author of science fiction and fantasy novels.

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