Key Steps to Managing Marestail

By Lindsey Hecht, Product Manager, Soybean and Glyphosate Herbicides
Dow AgroSciences

LindseyHechtMarestail is a growing threat to soybean fields. Early control is crucial. A timely burndown application and use of a preemergence herbicide that offers residual control can provide growers with an effective management tool. Marestail has developed a new germination pattern in the last decade and behaves as both a winter and summer annual. It can take nearly a full year to complete its life cycle and has a wide emergence and growth window, which can make it challenging to control, says Joe Armstrong, field scientist, Dow AgroSciences. Growers should consider three practices to manage marestail this year:

  • Year-round scouting. Marestail can grow almost any time of the year and does not stay dormant long. If it grows more than a few inches tall, it is extremely difficult to control, Armstrong says. Therefore, growers should scout for marestail in the spring, early summer and fall. Identify it early when it emerges as a small rosette.
Marestail-rosette-growthstageMarestail in the rosette growth stage Photo by Anita Dille, Kansas State Extension Agronomy
  • Timely application. Control marestail early with a preemergence herbicide such as Sonic® herbicide or Surveil™ Co-pack soybean herbicide. Each has two nonglyphosate modes of action and can be used preplant up to three days after planting. A timely application also opens a wider window for a postemergence application to control any emerged marestail in-crop.
  • Apply a herbicide with residual control. Growers should apply a herbicide that provides long-lasting and effective control of broadleaf weeds. Sonic and Surveil Co-pack can be used preemergence. With a double barrier of residual chemistry, they protect yield potential and manage resistance.

For more information on controlling difficult weeds such as marestail, visit and Click on each logo for more information.


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