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The Surprising Way Weeds Are Hurting Your Yield Potential

June 24, 2019

A clean corn row, free of tough weeds that could redirect the sun’s rays and reduce yields.

You have likely heard that early-season weed pressure can negatively impact your corn crop’s yield potential. Weeds compete with crops for sunlight, water and other important nutrients. But did you know that these pests can also harm the growth of your corn by redirecting the sun’s rays?

In a clean row, the ground absorbs sunlight. If, however, weeds have taken root, the rays will bounce off of their leaves and back toward the growing crops.

This illustrated image shows Weeds reflect sunlight against crops, triggering a natural response in corn that reduces yield potential.

Weeds reflect sunlight against crops, triggering a natural response in corn that reduces yield potential.

Corn plants have a shade-avoidance response for situations in which the light quality changes. In a field infested by weeds, you may notice that the corn exhibits the following characteristics:

  • Taller plants.
  • Wider leaves, but reduced leaf area and biomass.
  • Decreased root growth.
  • Decrease in kernels per plant.

While having taller plants with wider leaves might seem beneficial, the reduced root development will prevent the corn from achieving its full yield potential. Smaller root systems struggle to support the plant throughout its lifecycle, especially in reaction to stressors, such as flooding, drought and other adverse conditions.

It’s crucial to start with weed-free fields that remain clean all season long. For this, we recommend Acuron® corn herbicide, which combines 4 active ingredients (AIs) and 3 effective SOAs. Acuron also offers flexible application from 28 days preplant up to 12” corn. The atrazine-free counterpart of Acuron, Acuron Flexi , has 3 AIs, 2 effective SOAs, and provides the same safety and performance from 28 days preplant up to 30” corn. Acuron Flexi also allows for the flexibility to add atrazine or glyphosate based on farming practice.

Both Acuron and Acuron Flexi can be followed by Halex® GT corn herbicide, plus either an atrazine or dicamba herbicide for season-long control of annual grass and broadleaf weeds. Halex GT provides a more convenient alternative to other post-emergence, glyphosate corn herbicide programs.

Show us your clean corn rows in the #ShowYourRowContest for a chance to win prizes.

We at Syngenta are celebrating those who actively manage troublesome weeds through the #ShowYourRowContest, a new social media competition to highlight weed-free cornfields. By sharing clean row images of Acuron branded corn on Instagram and Twitter, participants are automatically entered for a chance to win prizes.

You can enter the #ShowYourRowContest now through the end of August by:

  • Sharing a picture of your cleanest corn rows treated with Acuron or Acuron Flexi corn herbicides on Twitter or Instagram.
  • Tagging the photo with the hashtag: #ShowYourRowContest.

Photo submissions that meet the requirements listed above will be automatically entered for a chance to win a $500 StubHub gift card. The first 100 people to share their photo will also receive a small prize. More information, including the official rules, a roundup of entries and prize structure, can be found on the contest webpage.

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