Weeds are relentless year after year, leading farmers, retailers and agronomists across the Midwest to find new ways to control difficult and herbicide-resistant weeds in corn and soybean fields.
While the weed spectrum hasn’t changed much in recent years, the available methods and level of difficulty to control these weeds has changed. We’re seeing several trends, as part of a sound herbicide program, that are helping farmers improve ROI and counter weed pressure.
To overcome challenging weeds in corn and soybeans, here are three top weed-fighting strategies to keep in mind this season.
1. Invest in multiple herbicide passes
The timing of herbicide passes is shifting. There are instances when farmers prefer to apply a residual herbicide shortly after planting rather than before. Herbicide timing largely depends on the weed spectrum and density. With increasing herbicide resistance, a two-pass program is the best way to keep weeds small throughout the season.
To control weeds early – even ahead of planting – farmers can tank-mix burndown herbicides with residual herbicides to plant into a clean field. Dow AgroSciences recently received federal registration from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for Elevore™ herbicide, powered by Arylex® active, which can be applied up to 14 days before planting in soybeans and corn. Elevore is tank-mix-compatible with commonly used burndown and residual partners, including 2,4-D and glyphosate, for thorough control of many broadleaf weeds, including marestail up to 8 inches tall.
2. Layer residual herbicides to extend weed control
Farmers should overlap, or layer, residual herbicides to control tough weeds like Palmer amaranth and waterhemp, which germinate throughout the growing season. Farmers can use Resicore® herbicide or SureStart® II herbicide for residual control in corn and Sonic® herbicide or Surveil® herbicide for long-lasting control in soybeans.
3. Control pigweeds early before they progress across fields
Waterhemp and Palmer amaranth continue to be driver weeds in corn and soybeans. Waterhemp is slowly taking over more acres each year, and if a farmer is in an area where it was just starting to get bad last year, it’s likely getting worse.
In soybeans, farmers can also improve control of tough weeds, including the pigweed species, by planting narrow rows of seven to 15 inches. This allows the crop to shade the row much quicker, which reduces weed germination and emergence.
For more information about customizing a weed control program for waterhemp, Palmer amaranth and marestail, visit PowerOverWeeds.com.