Dave Hillger, Ph.D., Enlist™ field specialist, Dow AgroSciences
“Ugly” is the best way to describe the weed challenges growers across Indiana faced in 2015. Particularly in central Indiana, wet field conditions prevented growers from applying preemergence herbicides, resulting in early season weed pressure. Marestail and resistant common ragweed were prevalent, and there were patches of giant ragweed that weren’t controlled or that emerged late.
This year reinforced the value of applying a preemergence herbicide with residual activity. Adam Schwering who farms near Rushville, Indiana, agrees.
“The key to effective weed control is starting with a clean field and putting down preemergence residual herbicides to hold weeds back,” Schwering says. “The field was pretty nasty looking by the time we went in to spray over the top because we just kept getting rain and more rain.”
This season, Schwering experienced the new, break-through technology of the Enlist™ weed control system and the benefits it offers for controlling resistant and hard-to-control weeds post application.
“Enlist Duo herbicide was very effective and cleaned the field right up,” Schwering says. “I haven’t seen weeds in the field at all, which really surprises me. It is nearly 100 percent weed free.”
Enlist Duo® herbicide is a proprietary blend of new 2,4-D choline and glyphosate. Timely application at full label rates provides an additional mode of action to help control the toughest weeds, including resistant and hard-to-control species.
Despite the effective weed control Schwering experienced with the Enlist system, he cautions other growers not to forget to apply a preemergence herbicide. “The key to effective weed control and preventing future resistance is to start with a clean field. Don’t just expect to use Enlist Duo over the top and clean up weed problems. That’s not good for weeds and it’s not good for us.”
Start planning now
Regardless of the situation in your fields, this year’s experiences illustrate the value of building and carrying out a comprehensive weed control program. As you begin planning for 2016, spend more time on the fields with specific weed issues that weren’t controlled effectively.
It is important to understand the weed types and common resistant species in each field and to build a plan designed to control weeds early. With a plan in place, if changes such as weather delays occur or weed escapes happen, you’ll have an option already in mind.
Take action now to control actively growing weeds with a fall burndown or tillage. And consider rotating prevented-plant acres to corn next year since there are more-aggressive choices available for early season weed control in corn.
Follow a program approach
When planning herbicide strategy, especially in areas with significant resistant populations, follow a program approach that starts with broad-spectrum soil residual herbicides offering multiple modes of action. Preemergence herbicide applications — including a burndown — create a clean field at planting and offer control of early season weeds, eliminating weed competition during the crop’s critical early growth. Sonic® herbicide in soybeans or SureStart® II herbicide in corn are two products to consider for early residual control.
With early season control in place, you’ll have time to plant your entire crop and then come back with timely applications of postemergence weed control. Scout fields to make applications when weeds are small and actively growing. Apply full rates following label directions to ensure optimum control and limit opportunity for resistance to develop.
For more information on the latest herbicide-tolerant trait technology available to help you manage hard-to-control and resistant weeds next year, visit the Enlist YouTube channel, follow on Twitter at @EnlistOnline or visit Enlist.com.