How Effective is Your Herbicide Program for Soybeans?

When growing soybeans, you always need to think ahead. That means examining weed threats and evaluating which herbicides work best. As waterhemp intrudes on soybean fields across the Midwest, it is forcing growers to evaluate their weed management programs, says Kevin Wirth, crop expert with Effingham Equity in Marshall, Illinois.

“All of us are trying to take different steps to control waterhemp in corn and soybeans, and we’ve adjusted some of our herbicide programs from the past to get that weed under control,” Wirth says. “We are trying to apply more residual herbicides on a soybean acre to keep waterhemp from ever emerging.”

waterhempWaterhemp is an erect summer annual with smooth and branching stems that can grow up to 8 feet tall. It is a very competitive weed, especially in soybeans. According to the University of Illinois, previous research has shown that waterhemp can cause up to 40 percent soybean yield loss.1 It can be controlled with residual herbicides or through routine scouting.

 “The days of planting corn and soybeans, then letting the crop come up along with all the weeds and expecting retailers to come in and work miracles with glyphosate — that’s over,” Wirth says.

Once weeds like waterhemp begin crowding crops, yield diminishes and will never gain full potential. With the right herbicide program, growers can manage annual weeds including waterhemp, lambsquarters and cocklebur.

It’s important to scout early and scout often, as most weeds — even waterhemp and marestail — can be controlled when they are small, Wirth says.

When your customers are scouting soybean fields this summer, they should evaluate the effectiveness of their current herbicide programs. When reevaluating weed management programs, Sonic® herbicide and Surveil Co-pack herbicide provide­­ long-lasting, residual control for ideal timing of a postemergence glyphosate application such as Durango® DMA® herbicide. For more information on weed control in soybean fields, visit

Sonic   SurveilCo-Pack

1Recommendations for Management of Glyphosate-Resistant Waterhemp in Illinois Soybean. University of Illinois Extension.

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