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Eight Weed Management Tips for Higher Yields

November 11, 2020
Corn entering a bin

Consider your agronomic actions and corn crop inputs like ingredients in a recipe; the quality of each determines the quality (yield potential) of the final product. Since weeds are prolific yield-robbers, the best management practices and inputs are required to achieve the greatest yield potential.

Here are 8 crucial steps to help unlock your yield potential and find more bushels at harvest:

  1. Know Your Corn Crop’s Opponents
  • It’s important to know which weeds are present in your area and their individual strengths and weaknesses. Once you know your opponents, you can make well-informed decisions about agronomic practices and herbicide programs.
  1. Start Clean and Stay Clean
  • Start clean with an effective burndown and a preemergence residual corn herbicide (e.g., Acuron® herbicide) application.
  • The goal each season should be to plant into clean, weed-free fields and maintain them through harvest.
  1. Employ Multiple Effective Sites of Action Specific to Your Key Problem Weeds and Overlapping Residuals
  • Acuron contains 4 active ingredients – including the Syngenta-exclusive component bicyclopyrone – and 3 effective sites of action for multi-targeted control of 70+ tough broadleaf and grass weeds with built-in resistance management.
  • Bicyclopyrone helps Acuron outperform and ouyield all other corn herbicide premixes by delivering built-in burndown, longest-lasting residual, and improved and more consistent management of large-seeded broadleaf weeds across various weed spectrums, weather conditions and soil types.
  1. Use the Full Labeled Rates of Effective Herbicides
  • This delays the onset of resistance and ensures that you are addressing any and all weeds present.
  • When applied preemergence and at the full labeled rate, Acuron helped find 5-15 more bushels per acre than any other herbicide in replicated trials*.
  1. Scout Early and Often
  • Scout prior to and throughout the season, monitoring for weed escapes, resistant species, new weed types, etc.
  • Adopt a zero-tolerance policy toward tough weeds. If you find an escape, make sure to eliminate it quickly.
  1. Use a Diversified Management Program
  • Cover crops, mechanical weed control and crop rotation are great tools to ensure you are attacking weeds from all angles.
  1. Consider Crop Safety
  • Cool, wet weather can cause some herbicides to injure the corn. Acuron includes a crop safener, benoxacor, to enable application flexibility from 28 days preplant through 12” corn, so this is not an issue.
  1. Reduce the Weed Seed Bank
  • Do not let weeds go to seed. Many weeds are prolific seed producers, and even a single weed that goes to seed can spread resistance, causing costly weed-related issues for years to come.
  • Charlie Cahoon, Ph.D., an N.C. State University Extension weed specialist, says managing the weed seed bank is a numbers game. If you take a 1,000-acre farm and you have 1 pigweed per acre that goes to seed, that 1 weed could produce 500,000 seeds. Then across that 1,000-acre farm, you essentially have millions of pigweeds the next year, with a good chance one could possibly be resistant. Remember not to allow weeds to go unmanaged in the off-season.

Weed resistance is a real and growing threat to corn growers, but by using a strong herbicide program with multiple effective sites of action, you can start clean and stay clean in the 2021 season.

Calculate the extra revenue potential you could find next season with Acuron.

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*Acuron yield advantage range based on 2016 Syngenta and University trials comparing Acuron to Corvus®, Resicore®, SureStart® II and Verdict® applied preemergence and at full label rates. For more information on Acuron versus an individual product, ask your Syngenta representative.