BASF: The key to weed control comes early in the season

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Want to improve yields, control weeds and fight resistance this growing season? Experts agree the key to success is early season weed control.

“Effective weed management today means starting the growing season with a clean weed-free seedbed,” said Bryan Young, Ph.D., Associate Professor of weed science, Purdue University. “That typically means tillage in corn and in some cases a spring burndown in soybeans. Then make sure that the field stays clean from that point forward throughout the season. Residual herbicides are critically important in helping us reduce weed competition to optimize crop yields and to improve control of our most problematic weeds.”

Residual weed control can save time and money by reducing the amount of post-emergence applications needed throughout the season.

Studies have shown that preplant and preemerge herbicides can improve net return by a potential $36 to $60 per acre after the cost of herbicide application in soybeans.

“Weeds are easiest to control at the beginning of the season,” said Mark Oostlander, Technical Market Manager, BASF. “Early in the season, weeds aren’t taking as many important resources such as water, sun and nutrients from your crops as they will later in the season. Controlling weeds in the beginning is the most efficient and cost-effective step you can take in weed control. I would recommend a preplant or preemergence herbicide with residual control.”

As weeds grow larger, they become a greater threat to crops. Studies have shown that soybean yields can be reduced six percent if weeds grow to nine inches. In corn, 12-inch weeds can cause up to 10 percent yield loss.

Not only is early season weed control an effective strategy for combatting weeds at their easiest stages, but it can also help in the fight against weed resistance.

“When you have weeds resistant to glyphosate and are utilizing different herbicide chemistries, a two-inch weed might be the maximum height you can control with the herbicide,” explained Young. “We’ve seen resistance happen before and it’s too risky to allow these weeds to emerge and depend solely on the timing of a post-emergence herbicide. For some weeds, we don’t have effective post-emergence herbicide options, it’s all about never letting these weeds get a start.”

For more of the latest Advanced Weed Control tips based on geography, weed pressure and crop, visit advancedweedcontrol.basf.us.


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