Palmer amaranth resistance to acetolactate synthase (ALS)–inhibiting herbicides was first identified in Georgia in 2000. Since then, complaints from peanut producers have increased concerning failure of ALS herbicides in controlling Palmer amaranth. Because efficacy of ALS herbicides can be compromised under adverse conditions, seeds from Palmer amaranth plants that escaped weed control were collected across the peanut-growing region in Georgia to investigate the cause of these reported failures. Greenhouse and growth-chamber studies were conducted using these seeds to evaluate whether weed escapes were a result of Palmer amaranth resistance to ALS herbicides. Each of the 61 accessions collected across Georgia exhibited varying levels of resistance to imazapic applied POST (< 55% control, relative to ALS-susceptible Palmer amaranth). Subsamples of the accessions were evaluated for their response to imazapic rates, which indicated variable levels of resistance across Palmer amaranth accessions. The rate of imazapic that provided 50% reduction in Palmer amaranth plant biomass (I50) for the known susceptible biotype was 0.9 g/ha of imazapic. Of the 10 accessions evaluated, 8 of them had I50 values that ranged from 3 to 297 g/ha of imazapic. The other two accessions could not be fit to the log-logistic dose–response curve and had undeterminable I50 values because of high levels of ALS resistance (> 1,400 g/ha of imazapic). Herbicide cross-resistance experiments indicated that 30 accessions were resistant to the ALS herbicides imazapic, chlorimuron, pyrithiobac, and diclosulam at the recommended field-use rates. However, each of these 30 accessions was susceptible to glyphosate. These data demonstrate that ALS-resistant Palmer amaranth occurs throughout the peanut-growing region of Georgia. Growers in Georgia will need to alter their weed-control programs in peanut to include herbicides with multiple modes of action that do not rely on ALS herbicides for effective Palmer amaranth control.
Nomenclature: Chlorimuron; diclosulam; imazapic; pyrithiobac; Palmer amaranth, Amaranthus palmeri L; peanut, Arachis hypogea L.