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Quality Herbicides are an Investment

February 5, 2020
Turon, KS: Retailer Colten Katz talks herbicide choices and yield.

Turon, KS: Retailer Colten Katz talks herbicide choices and yield.

Corn and soybean herbicides are an investment with both short- and long-term implications for a farm’s future. And just like any financial investment, it’s important to conduct a thorough evaluation of the options and how they fit with your goals before making a decision.

First, let’s look at short-term considerations. Saving money is great, but the appeal of saving money up front should not come at the expense of crop safety or effective weed control. In reality, the most expensive herbicide is always the one that doesn’t work at all/very well, and cheaper herbicides are often less effective and lack residual control, creating a host of costly issues. Crop injury, weed escapes that require resprays and reduced yield potential are all consequences of picking ineffective herbicides that drive up cost and reduce farm profitability.

We know and have had customers tell us that paying a little more up front for a quality herbicide provides greater value both in terms of early-season weed control and end-of-season yield potential. On top of that, a quality herbicide provides peace of mind.

Looking ahead, sometimes focusing too much on the season at hand clouds the long-term impact of herbicides, but that’s also an important piece of the overall financial puzzle. Weed escapes can build up a farm’s weed seed bank and increase the likelihood of a rise in resistant populations.

For land owners who rent out their fields, it’s important your renters are good stewards and use the best weed management herbicides and practices. Weeds are resilient, so just a few seasons of mismanagement can potentially drive down land rent.

On the flipside, a positive long-term outcome from using a quality herbicide program is a reduced weed seed bank and higher yield potential. The Iowa State University Extension says weeds can impact yield potential as soon as they begin to take sunlight, water and nutrients from the crop. A collaborative 2016 paper from the Weed Science Society of America elaborates on the significant effect weed interference has on net returns for producers: a 7-year average across U.S. and Canadian fields showed that weed interference in corn caused an average of 50% yield loss, valued at $26.7 billion annually.

Choosing a herbicide that keeps tough weeds from developing not only protects yield potential, but in many cases, increases it. The corn herbicide we recommend investing in is Acuron®. When used in a preemergence application at full label rates, Acuron can help you find 5-15 more bushels an acre than with any other corn herbicide.* That’s because Acuron, with its 4 active ingredients (including the unique active ingredient bicyclopyrone) and 3 effective sites of action, controls tough weeds that other products miss. When your corn crop isn’t fighting weeds for nutrients, water or sunlight, it’s able to develop and reach its full yield potential.

Calculate how much more potential revenue you could earn with an extra 5-15 bushels.

For dicamba-tolerant soybeans, we recommend Tavium® Plus VaporGrip® Technology herbicide, the market’s first premix residual dicamba herbicide. Tavium has multiple effective sites of action that work against a broad spectrum of broadleaf and grass weeds, and contains built-in residual control to maintain clean fields throughout the season. Through the contact control of dicamba, Tavium manages the emerged weeds you see, and through the residual control of S-metolachlor, it manages the weeds you don’t see yet. This powerful combination provides up to 3 weeks longer residual control than dicamba alone.

Tavium is an ideal early post-emergent herbicide and can follow Boundary® 6.5 EC, BroadAxe® XC or Prefix® herbicides in soybeans – along with others. Tavium controls 21 different weeds when applied preemergence and 63 weeds as a post-emergent herbicide.

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


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