By: Jeff Moon, market development specialist, Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont
Last fall’s weather conditions and late harvest had a big impact on soybean farmers. Combine that impact with current economic issues, and they are likely feeling the pinch of limited dollars for inputs this spring. While the temptation for many is to rethink or even cut back on weed control plans, retailers should be ready to help farmers stay the course to keep yield potential intact.
That’s especially true as weed pressure in many areas is as strong as ever, thanks to an influx of tough winter annuals like marestail. Germinating during last fall’s favorable conditions, they’ve overwintered to reemerge in force this spring. To make matters worse, this spring has seen another round of cool, wet conditions to further saturate soils in many areas — pushing back planting and allowing weeds extra time to grow into problems.
Having a strategic weed control plan in place that accounts for potentially challenging conditions allows you and your customers to make adjustments instead of rash decisions. For example, fewer input dollars or a tighter planting window might tempt some farmers to skip preemergence herbicide applications and concentrate only on a postemergence program. But many of today’s toughest weeds are very difficult to control with only postemergence applications. As the season progresses, farmers will be unable to catch up with these weeds, and the real pain could come at harvest.
Instead, developing a strategic weed control plan and then staying the course provides the best opportunity for maximum yield at season’s end. Consider starting with a preemergence herbicide in early spring to keep weeds small and easier to control. In soybeans, Sonic® herbicide when applied as a preemergence provides broad-spectrum, residual control, making postemergence applications more effective. And Sonic is flexible enough to be applied either pre- or postplant. This helps growers plant whenever the field is fit.
When cool, wet spring conditions make it difficult to apply early season herbicides, another effective option is Trivence® herbicide, which combines burndown of emerging weeds with residual control that lasts through crop emergence.
Farmers should then layer residual herbicides to help keep fields clean longer, typically through crop canopy closure. In soybeans, follow Sonic herbicide with a postemergence product, such as DuPont™ EverpreX® herbicide, and consider adding glyphosate or fomesafen for even more modes of action.
Sound advice is the bedrock of your customer relationships. Having a strategic weed control plan in place allows you to more easily guide farmers through conditions like we’re seeing this season and serves to solidify those relationships. Weeds are relentless year after year, and the ability to act early and often against them keeps farmers ahead during the season, all the way to harvest.