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Keep Your Weed Seed Bank Account Low

October 9, 2019
This agronomic image shows marestail

Marestail can produce up to 200,000 seeds per plant, which can remain viable in the soil for up to 3 years.

Advancements in digital farming have provided growers with a number of new tools to help better manage operations and increase yields. But even now, there are still some tried and true methods growers can incorporate to maximize outputs. Weed seed bank management is one such tool that should be a top focus as we approach this year’s corn and soybean harvest.

The weed seed bank is one account that growers need to keep as low as possible to remain profitable. Deposits are made to the bank from the reserve of weed seeds developed from unmanaged infestations. Once the deposits are made into the ground, seeds can grow and mature into more weeds, creating a cycle that can be hard to stop. As this happens, fields are at higher risk for resistance to develop and herbicide applications become less effective, year over year.

This past season, wet weather delayed or prevented many herbicide applications, meaning weed escapes were more common. These escaped weeds had a higher likelihood of going to seed. The size of this bank can grow quickly. For some species, just 1 plant can produce hundreds of thousands of seeds.

Here are 4 ways you can minimize the risk of the seed bank building in your fields:

  • Scout fields for problem areas and identify weeds.
  • Use full-labeled rates of herbicides to optimize coverage and control.
  • Apply post-emergence herbicides before the largest weed in the field reaches 4” in height.
  • Clean equipment between fields to prevent seeds from spreading.

Preemergence herbicides like Boundary® 6.5 EC, BroadAxe® XC and Prefix® in soybeans, followed by an early post-emergence application of Tavium® Plus VaporGrip® Technology herbicide can kill weed escapes before they’re able to go to seed. In corn, Acuron® or Acuron Flexi corn herbicides will help fields start clean and protect them from weeds prior to emergence. Acuron delivers 5 to 15 more bushels per acre than competitors*, because it kills weeds that other products miss. Acuron and Acuron Flexi can be followed by Halex® GT herbicide, for season-long control of tough weeds.

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