Planning for early-season weed management in 2013 with what BASF calls Advanced Weed Control gives farmers the “ability to stay a step ahead of whatever comes their way this year,” according to the company. The contention is that after the 2012 growing season — a year of highs, lows and surprises—staying on top of unexpected challenges in 2013 will help deliver the farm management flexibility today’s farmers need to increasingly drive success.

“To combat inevitable challenges like weather, workload and weed resistance, we recommend a solid foundation of weed control,” said Luke Bozeman, technical market manger, BASF.

Grower and commercial applicator Dave Woestehoff agrees that effective weed control begins with early planning.

“The biggest challenge is timing,” said Woestehoff. “If you have wind or rain, you might sit for three days. Or, the weed and crop development stage hits the ideal timing and everyone wants their field or fields applied today. That puts pressure on the applicator and on the chemistries.”

According to Bozeman, a successful foundation starts with an effective preplant or preemergence herbicide to deliver long-lasting, residual control. This application provides three key benefits — it reduces early season weed competition, makes it easier to keep fields clean throughout the season and maximizes return on seed and fertilizer investments.

Benefit No. 1 – Start clean
Research has demonstrated the importance of early-season control to minimize weed competition. In corn, 12-inch weeds could cause a 22 percent yield loss when left standing. Additional research shows that in soybeans, this early season weed competition poses a potential 6 to 10 percent yield loss.

“If you miss weeds early, they get bigger and tougher to control, potentially requiring multiple applications, higher use rates for effective control, and placing more pressure on the timing of a post application, likely costing more money,” said Bozeman. “Sometimes, no effective options exist once the weeds become established.”

A spring burndown with a residual herbicide for both soybeans and corn provides effective weed control to prepare for planting and helps to decrease the seed bank during the season. BASF has the products to fit this need in its portfolio.

Benefit No. 2 – Stay clean
Applying a residual herbicide early in the season minimizes the number of post-emergence glyphosate applications in fields and provides growers with protection against early-season weed competition when weather or workload prohibits a timely post-emergence application.

“We had a number of Indiana farmers with glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth in their fields at the end of the 2012 season,” said Gery Welker, technical service representative, BASF. “Many of them tried to control the weeds mid-season with multiple post-glyphosate applications and it just didn’t work. This is why a good foundation of weed control using a residual herbicide is so important for growers in 2013.”

To stay clean, farmers should use proven herbicides that offer residual control through early-to-mid season. Herbicides that offer application flexibility from preplant through early post-emergence is ideal. BASF claims that data from ten years of research and field trials proves that its Zidua herbicide lasts up to two weeks longer than competitive herbicides on key weeds, such as Palmer amaranth and common waterhemp.

Benefit No. 3 – Maximize return on investment
“When weeds hit your field they threaten more than your yield,” said Bozeman. “They threaten the investment you’ve made in seed, fertilizer and other crop protection products, and they waste time and money that should go to other important areas.”

To help protect these investments and plan to gain control, ag professionals and farmers can go to AdvancedWeedControl.BASF.US and evaluate BASF weed control solutions based on geography, weed pressure and crop. The site is built to offer product and weed control strategy recommendations that combine to build an effective program, such as application tips for herbicide stewardship and maximum performance or prioritizing fields for a preemerge residual herbicide to manage tough weeds.