Whether you’re considering burndown, pre-emerge or post-emerge applications, one thing is certain — growers need to implement a full weed management program to protect their yields from weed competition this spring.
Different weeds have different photosynthetic processes and can be more problematic early in the growing season or closer to late summer. You need to understand the weeds that pose the greatest threat to your yields and their germination cycles before you can develop an efficient weed management program. For example, one single female waterhemp plant can produce up to a million seeds, and each seed can remain active in the soil for several years. And while waterhemp can pop up at any given time, it’s more prevalent during late growing season. Giant ragweed can be difficult to control because of its ability to survive in many different environments, including roadsides and flood plains, which makes the plant and its seed extremely volatile. Giant ragweed is also one of the earlier weeds, emerging in March in many areas of the Corn Belt.
No matter the region, herbicide-resistant weeds and grasses can wreak havoc on your corn and soybean acres, which is why all growers need to implement a weed control program this year. Stine RSAs John Furlong and Jason Green have some advice to consider:
RSA John Furlong
“No matter what you use, you need to use a pre- with a different mode of action because no one chemical is going to get every weed.”
Pre-emergence herbicides play a vital role in weed control. They protect your acres during the critical period after planting, and some often offer residual control to maintain that control post-emergence.
RSA Jason Greene
“With weeds like waterhemp, marestail and palmer amaranth, applying a heavy dose of pre-emergence herbicide is a fantastic idea. Stine also has ways to battle glyphosate resistance with products such as LibertyLink® soybeans. And now with Balance™ GT coming around in the future, we’ll have another product in our toolbox to fight those weeds.”
Using multiple effective modes of action within the same growing season is an excellent way to outsmart weeds. Studies confirm that the more growers rely heavily on just one herbicide mode of action, the more herbicide-resistant weeds sprout from its overuse. Consider a pre-emergence herbicide with residual capabilities and apply a post-emergence application before the weeds reach four inches. Consider a burndown application on fields where early-emerging weeds have posed a problem in the past so that you can tackle the weeds before they fully germinate. RSA Jason Green offers more tips here.