The 3 Considerations When Choosing Herbicides
Choosing an effective corn and soybean herbicide program should be a top priority every year, but it’s especially important this season. Saturated weed seed banks were one consequence of last year’s turbulent conditions and will put greater stress on herbicides to perform in 2020.
But, choosing the right herbicide program can be overwhelming given the long list of options, especially when the stakes are this high. So it’s important to carefully evaluate herbicides and make selections that are right for your unique situation and long-term financial goals. Here are 3 questions to consider when making your choices:
Does the Herbicide Program Make Financial Sense?
A herbicide program is more than its initial sticker price. Yes, the price is important, but the results (weed control, yield and potential return on investment (ROI)) are what can make or break the bank.
We can all agree that saving money is great, but sometimes the appeal of saving money up front baits us into spending more in the long run and jeopardizes our finances. Skimping on cheaper herbicides with less effective active ingredients and shorter residual control can create situations where resistance spreads and more money is needed for rescue treatments.
Worse yet, cheaper herbicides that fail to control tough weeds or cause crop injury can significantly reduce end-of-season yield potential. On the other hand, the best preemergence herbicides can increase yield potential by keeping weeds under control before they compete for vital nutrients, sunlight and water. So even though quality herbicide programs may cost more up front, they can easily still provide a greater ROI when you consider weed control, resistance management and increased yield potential.
Read more about the financial considerations that come with investing in herbicides.
Will the Program Be Efficient?
Farming is a 24/7 lifestyle, so anytime you can increase your efficiency, it’s a good thing. One way to increase efficiency is to truly know your driver weeds, meaning which weeds are causing the most problems. And since weeds are always evolving, frequent scouting is key.
Make sure to identify any weeds that are becoming, or are at risk for becoming, resistant, and then choose corn and soybean herbicide programs with multiple effective sites of action specifically targeted to those driver weeds. This helps ensure efficient and effective control, saving both time and money.
Learn more about improving efficiency with 4 herbicide best practices.
Are the Herbicide Brands Proven and Reputable?
There may be no other saying more relatable to farming than, “you reap what you sow.” In essence, if you use good inputs, you should receive a good output. On the flipside, if you use poor inputs, the output may not be so great.
Cheaper herbicides, including bargain brands and generic options, have risen in popularity in recent years, but they carry a lot of risks. Many commercial applicators are even steering away from generics because of the risk involved – the products may not always work as advertised, cause crop injury or damage application equipment. That means weed escapes, money lost and reputations damaged. If problems do occur, generic manufacturers may not have the resources or financial means to make issues right. With so many proven brand-name herbicides available, there’s no need to gamble with a cheap product.
Learn more about the importance of choosing a proven, reputable herbicide.
A Higher Level of Weed Control
One corn herbicide that checks all the consideration boxes is Acuron®. With 4 active ingredients (including the unique active ingredient bicyclopyrone) and 3 effective sites of action, Acuron protects corn from yield-robbing weeds better than any other herbicide by delivering a higher level of weed control more often. It controls 70+ grass and broadleaf weeds for clean fields, and, as an added bonus, Acuron helps growers find 5-15 more bushels an acre* than with any other herbicide.
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 controls the weeds you see, and through the residual control of S-metolachlor, it protects the crop from the weeds you don’t see yet.
The best fit for Tavium is as an early post-emergent herbicide. It 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.
To see how weed resistance has affected the United States in the last 50 years, view our interactive map.
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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.