The 4 Herbicide Best Practices to Improve Efficiency
Colusa, IL, 2019: A sprayer applies herbicide to a corn field.
Agriculture embodies the phrase, “time is money.” Farming is a 24/7 lifestyle, and savvy growers are always on the lookout for time-saving measures, so here are 4 herbicide best practices to improve efficiency:
1.) Get to Know Your Operation
One way to improve efficiency is to truly know your farm and its driver weeds, meaning the specific weeds causing the most problems. It’s also important to identify any herbicide-resistant weeds and weeds that are at risk for becoming resistant. Since weeds are always evolving, scout frequently and maintain detailed notes.
2.) Use Learnings to Drive Herbicide Decisions
Once you understand what weeds are an issue, you can use that information to properly evaluate and choose corn and soybean herbicide programs with multiple, effective sites of action (SOAs) specifically targeted to those driver weeds. Using herbicides with multiple and effective SOAs is always recommended and helps ensure control of tough weeds before they rob yield or become seed-depositing escapes.
Weed scientists conducted a study and found that consistent use of multiple, effective herbicide SOAs were effective in delaying the development of resistance. A field that received an average of 2.5 SOAs per application was 83 times less likely to produce glyphosate-resistant waterhemp seeds than a field that received only 1.5 different SOAs per application.
3.) Treat Herbicide Purchases as an Investment
Another way to increase efficiency is to invest in quality herbicides. While cheaper herbicides may save you money up front, they may be less effective or won’t provide you with the greatest return. Cheaper herbicides, including generic offerings, can cause application issues, crop injury or provide lackluster weed control – all issues that require spending more time and money to address. Worst of all, poor early-season weed control has both short- and long-term consequences.
In the short term, early-season weeds compete with crops, reducing yield potential. In the long term, weeds that go to seed spread resistance and deposit seeds into the weed seed bank, creating costly weed-related problems for years to come.
4.) Read and Follow Label Instructions
When it’s time to apply your herbicides, read and follow the label instructions and apply full label rates. It can be tempting to buy quality herbicides and then cut rates to save money, but doing so jeopardizes program effectiveness.
For corn, we recommend Acuron® herbicide. Acuron protects corn from yield-robbing weeds better than any other herbicide by delivering a higher level of weed control more often. Since weeds steal sunlight, moisture and nutrients from the growing corn crop, better weed control means higher yield potential. 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.*
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. 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 crops from the weeds you don’t see yet.
Tavium works well as an 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.