Optimizing Applications

Sophisticated tank mixes, multiple adjuvants and surfactants — this is the future of herbicide application.

What was once an activity a trained monkey could likely complete with relative success, herbicide application has progressed into somewhat of an art form as resistant weeds challenge the skills of even the most seasoned applicators.

“You used to be able to just add anything to Roundup and — as long as something was spitting out of the nozzles — it probably worked. Now it’s all about gallons per acre and overall coverage, just making sure you are getting good coverage on the weeds,” says Tony VanOverschelde, agronomy manager, CHS Eastern Farmers, Brandon, SD.

With so many different products beyond glyphosate being introduced to the tank mix, compatibility agents are expected to continue their upward growth in sales over the next few years, according to adjuvant experts.
With so many different products beyond glyphosate being introduced to the tank mix, compatibility agents are expected to continue their upward growth in sales over the next few years, according to adjuvant experts.

Jeff Nagel, agronomist, Ceres Solutions, Terre Haute, IN, sees the issue in terms of ongoing education.

“When you get into glyphosate, you’re using systemic herbicides so you’re going to be using larger droplets,” he says. “What’s changing is where we have resistant waterhemp or Palmer amaranth, it’s all about the contact herbicides, so with those particular products we find ourselves having to reeducate some farmers and say ‘Hey, 10-12 gal./A isn’t sufficient, you need to be around 15-20 gal./A and use medium to coarse size droplets rather than just coarse to ultra-coarse.

“And coverage is the name of the game.”

Back To The Basics

Throughout nearly every walk-of-life, things typically tend to come full circle. In a world of resistant weeds, herbicide application is not spared from this fact, according to Kevin Bradley, weed scientist, University of Missouri.

“We’re trying to re-emphasize things that were done by my predecessors 50 or 60 years ago,” he says. “There are a number of researchers around the country that are going back and looking at different things, such as the effect of mow-board plowing, row spacing and soybean seeding rate — things I like to call cultural practices — it’s nothing new. We have data from decades ago that shows that these practices should be implemented with herbicide practices to get the best possible control.”

Adds VanOverschelde: “Roundup made spraying easy — now with resistance you need to pay more attention to tank mixes and adding stuff to Roundup. You’re concentrating on adjuvants and surfactants, spray tips and gallons per acre — whereas with Roundup you didn’t have to do any of that. It’s kind of what we were doing in the pre-Roundup days.”

Tank Mix Takeaways

Becoming well-versed in the various tank mixable products and their interactions with glyphosate is crucial in finding a solution to resistance, according to Nagel.

“We have a lot of (tank mix) postemergence choices in corn, and we’ve got the coming dicamba products and the pigment inhibitors, so we have tank mix partners that can help the glyphosate,” he says. “On the soybean side, especially when it comes to marestail, we don’t really have a great tank mix partner yet, and we’re getting variable performance — I call it suppression because it’s really not full control. Sometimes we’ll suppress the marestail for a while and right now it’s coming through the canopy.

“And then the adjuvant package a lot of times is different too,” Nagel continues. “You may have been adding AMS with glyphosate, but now you’re typically back to using high surfactant oil concentrates and/or a nitrogen (N) source of some sort.”

VanOverschelde agrees that the days of loading up a tank with straight glyphosate and hitting the field are mostly long gone. “We’re doing a lot of add-ins with Roundup. Rarely are we doing straight roundup on anything,” he says. “Roundup and FlexStar is one that pretty much is going on everything in our territory. In the past we were doing maybe 25% residuals and now our bean residuals are increasing. What you’re doing is just adding a couple modes of action.

“One thing with Roundup is you never really had to do planning,” VanOverschelde continues. “You just said ‘well I’ll spray it twice with Roundup’ and that’s really all the thought you put into it. Now you’ve got to plan for weed size, putting on a preemergence, the right tank mixes and so on. Planning wasn’t nearly as important as it is now.”

A Take On Tillage

Re-examining tillage practices and utilizing fall residual herbicides are additional ways a grower can regain some control over unruly fields, according to Nagel.

“We’re encouraging farmers to look at fall residual programs because you can actually do a fall herbicide program for no more, or sometimes even less dollars, than tank mixing in-crop to control marestail,” he says. “Also, I think these weeds do fairly well in reduced-tillage systems, so if you do aggressive tillage it tends to disrupt that fall growth — and you’re essentially controlling it with your tillage.”

Multiple adjuvants are also becoming a popular practice, as Precision Laboratories’ Jim Reiss, president, told us back in March.

“We’re seeing a significant increase in the number of acres that have combinations of two or three adjuvants in a single application,” says Reiss. “In the past, a lot of glyphosate acres received some type of water conditioning agent and drift control adjuvant premix. As more glyphosate acres include a companion herbicide or fungicide, that addition of a second product often drives the need for more adjuvancy to maximize performance and return on investment in the additional tank mix partner.”

“Unless we start changing our practices — as in adding more tank mixes, better planning and so on — it’s just something that’s not going to go away,” says Nagel. “Farmers, retailers — everyone just has to adjust to the situation.”

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Weed Resistance Stories

Weed ResistancePPO Resistant Pigweed Hits The Mid-South
October 1, 2015
If you’re a soybean grower already entangled in troublesome weed resistance in the state of Arkansas, Mississippi or Tennessee, you Read More
Weed ResistanceManagement Strategies That Worked In 2015
October 1, 2015
For better or worse, throughout many regions of the country 2015 provided the optimal growing season conditions for both crops, Read More
Patriot 4440 Sprayer close up
Weed ResistanceManaging Herbicide-Resistant Weeds: The Importance Of ‘A Clean Environment’
October 1, 2015
As the problem of herbicide-resistant weeds has spread, crop protection product suppliers have charged their top researchers with coming up Read More
Adjuvants loading
Weed ResistanceAdjuvants Trending Up For Fighting Weed Resistance
October 1, 2015
Gone with the wind are the days when adding an adjuvant to the spray tank was looked at with major Read More
Trending Articles
Key Cooperative Marcus Construction Steel Building
Retail FacilitiesMarcus Construction Builds High-Speed Agronomy Center For Key Cooperative
July 7, 2016
Key Cooperative in Grinnell, IA, wanted a state-of-the-art Agronomy Center to better serve its customers. Marcus Construction delivered exactly that. Read More
Heritage Cooperative
Retail FacilitiesKahler Automation Designs State-Of-The-Art Facility For Heritage Cooperative
July 4, 2016
Heritage Cooperative in Marysville, OH, needed an efficient liquid, dry and grain facility to serve the many needs of their Read More
The Andersons Waterloo
ManagementFirst Indiana Facility Certified Under 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program
June 27, 2016
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that The Andersons, Inc.’s Waterloo, IN, facility has been added to its Read More
Food IT
Industry NewsCalifornia Event Will Mix Ag And Tech Professionals To Explore IT Solutions
June 20, 2016
Silicon Valley is hot on agriculture, and an upcoming event in California will bring together the food and tech industries Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Eric SfiligojWhat’s Next For Monsanto?
May 31, 2016
For the folks at Monsanto’s headquarters in St. Louis, MO, it has been an eventful few weeks. Back on May Read More
Soybean Plant closeup
Industry NewsMonsanto Rejects Bayer Bid; Open To More Talks
May 25, 2016
Monsanto Co, the world’s largest seed company, turned down Bayer AG’s $62 billion acquisition bid as “incomplete and financially inadequate” Read More
Latest News
Crop InputsDuPont Pioneer: Corn Belt P and K Levels Lagging
August 24, 2016
A new DuPont Pioneer study conducted across 12 Corn Belt states demonstrates that growers may be leaving profit potential in Read More
Monsanto sign
Crop InputsCould a Monsanto-Bayer Union Be 2 Weeks from Fruition?
August 24, 2016
Via STLToday.com (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch): Merger talks between Monsanto Co. and Bayer AG are advancing after a series of Read More
EquipmentCase IH Debuts Nutri-Tiller 955 Strip-Till Applicator
August 24, 2016
With strip-till continuing to expand across new acres, Case IH designed the new Nutri-Tiller 955 strip-till applicator to help producers Read More
EquipmentCase Launches Aim Command FLEX, 25th Anniversary Patrio…
August 24, 2016
Case IH announces new AIM Command FLEX advanced spray technology for greater application accuracy, as well as special 25th Anniversary Read More
ASMARK 2016 Retailers Live! Tour - CPS
CropLife 100CPS Acquires Texas Retail Operation
August 23, 2016
Crop Production Services (CPS) has acquired the assets of Larry’s Chemical and Spray, Inc., for an undisclosed amount in an Read More
PrecisionAg Video Conference
Precision AgVideo: PrecisionAg Vision Conference
August 22, 2016
A Strategic Conference Focused on the Future of Farm Digitization and Precision Agriculture Visit precisionagvision.com and register today! Read More
Young Corn Plants
Industry NewsOABA Welcomes Nicole Wallace As Communication & Adm…
August 22, 2016
The Ohio AgriBusiness Association has hired Nicole Wallace as its communication and administrative coordinator. Wallace will help provide comprehensive communication Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsChemChina, Syngenta Receive Clearance From CFIUS
August 22, 2016
China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina) and Syngenta have announced that the companies have received clearance on their proposed transaction from the Read More
ManagementAg Industry Shows and Rumors
August 18, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about the upcoming trade show schedule, crop protection merger updates, and content for Read More
MAGIE 2015
EquipmentMAGIE Takes The Pulse Of The Ag Retail Industry
August 18, 2016
Every year, one of the major highlights of my career as an ag journalist is attending the Midwest AG Industries Read More
MAGIE 2015 Overview
EquipmentPride In Professionalism On Display At MAGIE
August 18, 2016
The Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association (IFCA) is proud to partner with CropLife IRON and continue the tradition of bringing Read More
SprayersJenner Ag To Debut 25th Anniversary Edition Case IH Pat…
August 18, 2016
Visitors at the 2016 Midwest Ag Industries Exhibition (MAGIE) in Bloomington, IL, will have a unique photo opportunity, as Jenner Read More
Crop InputsEU Glyphosate Controversy Heating Up Yet Again
August 17, 2016
The battle over glyphosate rages on in Europe, creating a lot of question marks over whether the herbicide will continue Read More
Industry NewsNew Partnership Provides Improved Representation At Ohi…
August 16, 2016
The Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) has retained Belinda Jones of Capitol Consulting Group, Inc. (CCG) for government relations work in Read More
Tissue testing
FertilizerMosaic: 6 Tips For Better Crop Nutrition In Corn
August 16, 2016
Late in the crop season is a good time to assess visual nutrient deficiencies and ensure early- and mid-season deficiencies Read More
WebinarsWebinar Schedule
August 14, 2016
Register for one of our upcoming Webinars or access our archive of past Webinars to view recordings of presentations that may be of interest to you. Read More
Dow DuPont
Crop InputsDowDuPont Update: EU Takes Closer Look at Merger
August 12, 2016
Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co. face months of haggling with European Union antitrust regulators who opened an in-depth probe Read More
ManagementNews from InfoAg 2016 and Weed Wands
August 11, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj review what happened at last week’s big Precision Ag event and a possible solution Read More