Herbicide Systems Define Weed Control For 2012

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From waterhemp, to worries, to workable solutions, multiple modes of action are key to weed control and gaining that extra bushel per acre in the coming growing season. Historic commodity prices and sizzling land values should make additional input investments profitable. Experts across the country weigh in with developing insight on weed resistance management, new products and crop strategies.

Lessons learned from 2011 will help you make the best recommendations to your growers. New products, practices, perspectives and crop protection management are among the issues that help you build profit margins and maximize grower yields. Sit back and read on to see what key industry players are thinking.

University Findings, Perspectives

“For the Midwest, our biggest problem is growing weed resistance to herbicides such as glyphosate. We’re seeing more waterhemp resistance regardless of what we try to do,” says Dr. Kevin Bradley, associate professor, Division of Plant Sciences, University of Missouri. “In the Bootheel and southern portions of the Midwest, we’re seeing much more Palmer pigweed with resistance as well.

“Our biggest driver is waterhemp, and it’s affecting yields. Although waterhemp is not as competitive as Palmer pigweed, giant ragweed and many others, waterhemp exists in almost all of our fields in Missouri at harvest. Combines do a perfect job spreading resistant seeds around for next year in these fields,” explains Bradley.

“We’ve also seen resistant Palmer pigweed in the river bottoms around Jefferson City in Central Missouri and in river bottoms north of Kansas City,” reports Bradley.

“This year we saw more adoption of pre-emergence residual herbicides than ever before, but we still have more problems,” he says. As we move forward, I suggest these new considerations: First, it’s a given we need to apply a pre-emergence herbicide, but we don’t have to apply a foundation rate of that herbicide. In fields where you know you have resistant weeds present, consider full label rates of a pre-emergence residual herbicide to get as long of control as possible.”

Another suggestion Bradley makes is to apply a residual herbicide with your postemergence treatment. “I’ve called this ‘overlapping residuals,’” he says. “It may not be for every acre, but particularly in fields with resistant waterhemp or Palmer pigweed. Either of these species can come up in July and August, and continue emerging with rain occurrences.” Presentations on this topic may be found at Website www.weedsciencemissouri.edu.

Dr. Bryan Young, professor, Dept. of Plant, Soil and Agricultural Systems, Southern Illinois University, recently addressed some key questions for planning 2012 herbicide systems.

“We used to talk about preventing weed resistance, but glyphosate resistance is here. The time to take action is now,” says Young. “Glyphosate remains an important tool, but the bulk of our efforts should rely on integration of several herbicides and modes of action. The complexity of weed management has risen dramatically because knowing what other herbicides are needed. Applying them in a timely fashion presents a significant challenge.”

Young recommends this thought process as growers make herbicide decisions:

  • Examine your weed spectrum (including resistant weeds).
  • Look at the components in your herbicide program and ask yourself: Do they control the weeds I’m targeting? Do they create a diverse program with multiple modes of action? Do they provide residual activity for season-long control?

Young adds that growers should take a systems approach to weed management and develop the mindset of managing weeds 12 months a year.

“The most prudent investment for weed management is the beginning of the growing season to start with weed-free fields and provide the residual herbicides necessary to enable an effective post application. Holding off on investing more on postemergence options can be risky,” says Young.

Viewpoints, Offerings

“Parallel Plus herbicide for corn is new in 2012 it has a super, new formulation that combines metachlor and atrazine, which is a mainstay product. Due to mixtures, you need to be less concerned in corn than in soybeans,” says David Feist, development project manager, MANA Crop Protection. “Because the herbicide’s two modes of action within the product, the chemistry works particularly well for waterhemp species. However, vigilance is prudent, and resistance management practices such as changing modes of action, tillage and additional products in burndown or postemergence which allow three passes or four control passes will manage proactively and control susceptible and potentially resistant weeds, not just resistant ones.”

In 2012, MANA offers its Protected Acre Program which is a comprehensive pro-active approach to a season-long crop protection program to strengthen use of input dollars with the inclusion of off-patent herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. “Traditionally, growers budget how much they can spend on crop protection. With the Protected Acre Program, growers take their current budgeted dollars and exceed their former standard level of protection during every stage of the crop’s lifecycle. By adopting off-patent product alternatives, growers can stretch their input dollars to do more with the same amount,” explains Feist.

Pending EPA registration, Valent is launching Fierce herbicide for 2012 which contains a premix of fluminoxazin and pyroxasulfone,” which adds an additional mode of action for managing weed resistance and controlling weeds such as pigweed, waterhemp and common ragweed.

“With the trouble growers faced trying to manage weeds in past years and still trying to stay profitable, retailers and university experts are recommending a powerful, long pre-emergence residual herbicide with two modes of action,” says John Pawlak, product development manager for Valent. “No matter what type of weed pressures a grower is facing, the most important thing is to have a solid weed strategy program that includes different modes of action and using residuals such as Valor or Fierce and postemergence products such as Cobra or Select Max.”

Jeff Springsteen, Bayer CropSci­ence corn and soybean selective herbicide manager, notes HPPD’s were the last mode of action to be discovered and brought to the market. “The only new products coming to the market in the next few years are premixes of older chemistries or additional products from existing mode-of-action families. We have to get smart and preserve the chemistry we have today,” he says.

Arlene Cotie, Bayer CropScience product manager, says they will recommend the Respect the Rotation program again in 2012, which encourages rotation of crops, herbicide modes of action and herbicide-tolerant traits. The LibertyLink trait with Ignite herbicide offer the most reliable solution for weed management by enabling rotation of selective and non-selective herbicides. “Also, pre-emergence residual herbicides are a must,” says Cotie.

“In corn, a product such as Corvus, a one-pass, pre-emergence herbicide, helps hold back weeds and helps reduce the pressure of coming back over the field should weather delay progress in the field. Capreno one-pass post herbicide can control weed escapes or late-germinating weeds through canopy,” Springsteen adds.

At Monsanto, Dr. Rick Cole, weed management implementation manager, says the Roundup Ready Plus incentives program is a tool to provide a broad range of choices and incentives. “Start early and use multiple modes of action,” he says. “We offer incentives to use residuals such as Impact from AMVAC, Cobra from Valent and additional products from other manufacturers such FMC, MANA and Syngenta.”

Cole adds that retailers should advise their customers to choose the best seed for their situation.

Dow AgroSciences is working ahead on the new Enlist Weed Control System, which will provide growers control of tough and glyphosate-resistant weeds in corn, soybeans and cotton. It will include new Enlist Duo herbicide offered as a post product for over the top of Enlist crops. The new Enlist Weed Control System is poised for a 2013 introduction in corn.

Damon Palmer, U.S. commercial leader, explains Enlist Duo will feature glyphosate and a new 2,4-D product. The herbicide features Colex-D Technology processes that will reduce the product’s low volatility and potential to drift.

For 2012, DuPont Crop Protection offers Delta and Southern growers new LeadOff herbicide for preplant use in corn, soybeans and cotton. “The product gives these growers the ability to control weeds early, react to changing weather conditions and take advantage of last-minute market opportunities to make their final planting decisions,” says Jeff Carpenter, DuPont corn herbicide portfolio manager.  

Again for 2012, the company offers Prequel herbicide for use in corn, preplant through pre-emergence for burndown and residual control. Other corn products include Realm Q applied post for broadleaf weed control, and new Basis Blend for fall or spring burndown in field corn. For soybeans, DuPont has Envive herbicide for foundation control of broadleaves. Residual product use has grown significantly, both pre and post in corn and soybeans. These products are “flying off the shelves,” says Carpenter.

Bryan Perry, BASF Kixor and Zidua marketing manager, reports that the company has two new herbicide innovations for 2012 — Zidua and OpTill Pro.

Zidua provides residual control of small-seed broadleaf weeds and grasses, including glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth and waterhemp. In­­i­tially, Zidua is anticipated to be labeled for use in corn and soybeans. Future label expansions may include uses in wheat, cotton, sunflowers, peanuts and to other crops as well.

“Growers want new solutions and new products spark interest. Zidua reduces risk through flexibility, two modes of action and works well on ‘emotional’ weeds,” says Perry.

“Our other new offering is OpTill Pro. The ‘Pro’ in this new BASF soybean herbicide stands for ‘premium residual option’,” Perry explains. “It’s powered by Kixor herbicide technology and contains the soybean herbicide’s three sites of action for an enhanced burndown with premium residual control of difficult weeds, including glyphosate-resistant waterhemp. “We also offer Verdict, launched last year for corn and soybeans, and Headline for corn application at V5/tassle. So it’s a systems approach,” he says.

Perry adds that it’s important to remember that a herbicide system is only one leg of the stool in crop protection management, which needs to be treated holistically.

At Syngenta, new cereal products are being launched, reports John Foresman, herbicide asset lead. “Axial Star controls both annual grass and broadleaf weeds in spring wheat (excluding durum), winter wheat and barley. Axial Star combines the industry-leading grass control of pinoxaden with fluroxypyr, the leader in kochia control,” he says. “Sierra herbicide is another cross-spectrum product and provides wheat growers with an additional resistance management tool to combat ACCase-resistant wild oat and green foxtail.

“With commodity prices strong, growers want to incorporate more efficiencies into their operations by using flexible products, additives and tank-mix options,” Foresman explains. “Cross-spectrum products like Axial Star and Sierra help by enabling growers to manage their grass and broadleaf weeds in one pass.”

Meyer is a freelance writer for Lobo Communications, Inc., Manchester, MO.

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