Weed Management Program Profiles

Here’s quick look at weed control strategies and their cost.

Over the past 20 years many growers — and perhaps dealers — have been relieved to leave behind the days of managing multiple products and approaches for weed control. Glyphosate, and later, glyphosate-resistant seed, made everyone’s job easier. But the industry is now returning to the host of crop protection tools developed over decades — though this time with an eye toward more careful planning.

To that end, chemical manufacturers, weed scientists and other stakeholders in agriculture have been working to engineer new, sometimes more complex herbicide programs. The goal is to both kill weeds and preserve effective products. Dealers are seeking out the best strategies, and the effort takes resources and patience. One proof of the challenge lies in the fact that Midwest universities’ herbicide guides include bountiful pages and charts covering current products and their uses.

Dealers we talked with suggested it can be difficult to nail down a typical cost per acre because so many options are available. Kevin Mainord, sales and marketing director with MRM Ag Services, East Prairie, MO, puts the range at $18 to $50 depending on past weed pressure and the level of control desired by growers. Plans incorporate products with varied modes of action throughout a season.

Current Approach To Corn

In many cases, dealers recommend a program start with fall burndown products to prevent winter annuals from germinating, says Shane Eck, location manager at Mid Kansas Cooperative (MKC), Lindsborg, KS. He also suggests a preplant/preemergence application come spring to kill existing weeds as well as prevent other weeds from germinating.

A postemergence application would be next — prior to canopy — to kill existing weeds. A key with post applications is timing. “It’s important to follow the label and not spray weeds that are larger than the recommended height,” points out Eck. Larger, more mature weeds have a better chance of surviving off-label applications. Specifically, Midwest extension weed specialists say products should go on before weeds exceed two to four inches to avoid excessive crop competition.

Hitting weeds when they’re small with the right rate is also tantamount. While a lower rate may actually take out virtually all of a particular field’s weeds, the ones that do survive will reproduce and can contribute to the development of resistant populations.

Mainord offered a quick summary of his company’s corn programs: Preemergence product applied behind the planter (“most premix products work”), then an early postemergence application of compounds such as dicamba/diflufenzopyr premix and glyphosate.

Jeff Consbruck, seed lead, CPI Coop, Hastings, NE, says that “in our corn programs we really encourage a two-pass approach. We try and use multiple modes of action and get the first pass on as early as the
weather permits.”

In fact, the efficacy of a one-pass program made at 1) preemergence with a residual herbicide or 2) postemergence with a tank mix of glyphosate and a residual product — raises doubts for Micheal Owen, weed science extension specialist with Iowa State University. “Regardless of what some advertising suggests, no herbicide treatment will provide full season control consistently, and more importantly, meet grower expectations,” he has commented in the school’s ICM newsletter. An appropriate expectation for a soil-applied herbicide treatment would be six to eight weeks of effective control, he explains. If rates are reduced expect less weed control.

Plans For Soybeans

Here again, it’s vital to start clean, said many of the dealers contacted. As with corn, MKC’s Eck suggests a fall burndown with preemergence control to prevent winter annuals from germinating. Then would come a spring burndown product with residual action. “Some growers like to use a preemergence chemical preplant, while others prefer to use a preemergence application in-crop,” says Eck. “An in-crop application is generally planned prior to canopy.”

Mainord suggests a preplant incorporated product on grass — or for just broadleaf weeds, depending on specific pressure. He also says growers can do an early postemergence application with both a contact and a residual product in the tank.

Consbruck would say soybeans are where his clients are having the most trouble these days. “Starting with a pre is a must anymore, as weeds in our area such as marestail, waterhemp and Palmer amaranth are getting very hard to control.

“Timing is our biggest challenge due to weather conditions and the fact that we are in the middle of applying our corn preemergence products and fertilizer at this time as well,” he adds. “Getting the pre on early ­— such as Enlite, Verdict, Prefix or Sonic — and then coming back with a tank mix of Roundup and another mode of action seems to be what is working in our area.”

Fortunately, research has yielded many non-chemical strategies in the weed wars. For instance, University of Illinois and USDA work has shown that several good cultural practices help: adequate seedbed preparation, adequate fertilization, crop rotation, planting on the proper date, using optimal row widths and seeding at the rate needed for optimal stands.

Their research also confirms that planting in relatively warm soil can help the crop emerge quickly and better compete with weeds. In fact, both corn and soybeans usually compete quite well with most weeds that begin growing beyond the first three to five weeks after planting — so good weed control during that early phase is extremely important. In addition, narrow rows help the crop compete better with weeds. Experts say that if herbicides alone cannot give adequate control, then growers should keep rows wide enough for cultivation.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Weed Resistance Stories

Spray Drift
Special ReportsPressure’s Up On Drift Reduction
October 4, 2016
The pressure was already on for the ag industry to reduce drift. Now, after what the South experienced over the Read More
Sprayer Maintenance
Special ReportsSprayer Clean-Out Gets New Attention
October 3, 2016
In this era of glyphosate resistance, the new herbicide systems hitting the market will definitely help, say dealers, but if Read More
WinField booth Farm Progress
Special ReportsTalking Weed Management Strategies At Farm Progress 2016
October 2, 2016
The annual Farm Progress Show — this year staged in Boone, IA — is always a great place to catch Read More
Engenia soybeans
Special ReportsResistant Weeds Continue To Confound Control Efforts
October 1, 2016
In the annals of weed scientists, 2017 will mark a milestone of sorts. This will be the 60th anniversary of Read More
Trending Articles
Migrant farm workers
LegislationTrump: Immigration Crackdown Won’t Impact U.S. Agriculture
May 16, 2017
President Donald Trump said he would seek to keep his tough immigration enforcement policies from harming the U.S. farm industry Read More
AGCO Ratliff featured
Eric SfiligojRemembering Robert Ratliff
May 15, 2017
With all the fast-paced happenings in agriculture this spring, with multiple mergers in the works and planting season in full Read More
Case sprayer nozzle closeup
EquipmentSpray Application: A Nozzle Renaissance
May 2, 2017
If you had asked four-decade ag veteran Mark Bartel, President of Wilger Inc., just a few years ago what lay Read More
ManagementWashington Update, Dow-DuPont Earnings, and the Passing of an AGCO Legend
April 27, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about the latest Beltway news, crop protection company 1st quarter numbers, and the Read More
Crop InputsFlying Under the Radar No More, FMC Goes Big
April 13, 2017
Describing FMC as “under the radar,” admittedly, is probably a stretch. But in a snap of the fingers, FMC upped Read More
Young Corn Plants
Crop NutritionStill Hunting Yields
April 1, 2017
There’s no denying it — the agricultural marketplace today is undergoing a fundamental shift in fortunes. Not too many years Read More
Latest News
ManagementTrip Report, PSM R.I.P, and Ag’s Reaction to Federal Bu…
May 25, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about their recent travels, the end for Process Safety Management (PSM), and how Read More
Corn soil
LegislationARA Member Testifies Before Senate Ag Committee
May 25, 2017
Agricultural retailers stand on the front-lines of the American economy. As trusted advisors to America’s farmers, ag retailers are uniquely Read More
Young corn plants in soil
Crop InputsFortenza Insecticide Seed Treatment Receives EPA Regist…
May 25, 2017
Fortenza seed treatment insecticide from Syngenta has received registration approval from the U.S. EPA for use on corn and cotton Read More
ManagementFarm Market iD’s Agriculture Database Now Covers More T…
May 25, 2017
Farm Market iD, farmmarketid.com, has announced the release of its 2017 Annual Update of its farm and land database. The Read More
Food IT Fork-to-Farm
Precision AgThe Mixing Bowl Event Connects Technology, Food, and Ag…
May 24, 2017
For the fourth consecutive year, The Mixing Bowl presents FOOD IT, under the theme “Fork to Farm.” Action-oriented entrepreneurs, industry Read More
Photo credit: The United Soybean Board/The Soybean Checkoff.
Seed/BiotechKansas State University Researchers Find New Pathogens …
May 24, 2017
A single seed seems so simple. Put it in the ground, give it some care, and you’ve soon grown food. Read More
Soybean Field
HerbicidesNew Dicamba Herbicide Premix Coming Soon from Syngenta
May 24, 2017
Syngenta has announced the name of its new herbicide featuring the active ingredients of S-metolachlor and dicamba. Upon registration by Read More
Eric SfiligojMonsanto ‘Picks Its Battles’ by Nixing Deere Deal
May 23, 2017
Having been in the trade journalism game since the mid-1980s, I remember several watershed moments during my career. One of Read More
FungicidesSyngenta Launches New Seed Treatment Fungicide
May 22, 2017
Syngenta has announced the launch of PLENARIS seed treatment fungicide for the control of downy mildew in sunflower. PLENARIS contains Read More
Corn close up
Crop InputsMonsanto’s First HPPD Herbicide Garners EPA Appro…
May 19, 2017
Monsanto announced today that EPA has federally approved Harness MAX Herbicide, the first herbicide in the Monsanto portfolio to provide Read More
ManagementPrecision Planting Deal, China Developments, and Enviro…
May 18, 2017
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Dan Jacobs discuss the latest news on John Deere’s now dead deal for Precision Planting, China’s Read More
Soybean aphid leaf
InsecticidesMulti-state Research Reveals IPM Best Option for Treatm…
May 17, 2017
About 89.5 million acres of soybeans will be planted across the U.S. in 2017 — a record high, according to Read More
GROWMARK-2017-Interns
CropLife 100GROWMARK Names 2017 Summer Interns
May 16, 2017
Forty-two college students are exploring agricultural career opportunities this summer as GROWMARK interns. They are working at FS member cooperatives Read More
Migrant farm workers
LegislationTrump: Immigration Crackdown Won’t Impact U.S. Ag…
May 16, 2017
President Donald Trump said he would seek to keep his tough immigration enforcement policies from harming the U.S. farm industry Read More
Flooded corn in Indiana
FertilizerBoth Wet and Dry Conditions Threaten Nitrogen Loss
May 15, 2017
The weather is notoriously unpredictable, leading to challenges for planting, harvesting and applying the nitrogen (N) your corn crop needs. Read More
farmer Kip Tom
Precision AgAg Tech: On the Cusp of Something Big?
May 15, 2017
The investment and ag-tech sectors’ continuing courtship of agriculture, smoldering for three or four years now, was well in evidence at Read More
AGCO Ratliff featured
Eric SfiligojRemembering Robert Ratliff
May 15, 2017
With all the fast-paced happenings in agriculture this spring, with multiple mergers in the works and planting season in full Read More
Greg Musson, Gar Tootelian
ManagementOpinion: Shaking Your Perspective in Ag Retail
May 12, 2017
Some of you I’m sure have encountered our recently retired salesman extraordinaire, Dan Bellanger. He worked in the industry for Read More