The United States is the world’s leading soybean producer with acreage expected to rise in 2015, Andrew Ferrel, Mycogen Seeds agronomist, said on the first day of the Soybean Summit hosted by Dow AgroSciences in Indiana in December. Indiana is ranked fourth in soybean production in the United States.

To help growers, retailers and consultants find success with their soybeans this spring, Dow AgroSciences hosted a three-day Soybean Summit. Dow AgroSciences experts, University of Wisconsin-Madison Weed Science Extension Specialist Vince Davis and Cotton Specialist Darrin Dodds from the University of Mississippi spoke to hundreds of attendees. They covered soybean variety selection, critical inputs for growing better soybeans and current and future weed control needs to help producers maximize yield potential. 

“Traditionally, soybeans are thought to be a very stable market compared with corn,” Ferrel says. “Agronomically, soybeans require less intensive management with lower input costs — unless you are battling those hard to control weeds.”

Controlling difficult weeds and growing better soybeans for optimum yield potential not only were main points of discussion at the Soybean Summit but also are issues growers should think about before the 2015 planting season.

Palmer amaranth, for example, is high on the weeds to watch list this spring as it continues to take over fields in the Midsouth and Midwest, according to information provided at the Soybean Summit. Its rapid seed production and transmission makes Palmer amaranth a large threat to growers’ yield.

It’s important for growers to have an integrated weed management plan to ensure developing soybeans are receiving the nutrients they need and growers are protecting their yield potential. To control tough weeds, a residual herbicide is vital to success, says Lindsey Hecht, product manager, U.S. soybean herbicides and glyphosate, Dow AgroSciences. If high-anxiety weeds, such as Palmer amaranth, are not controlled when they are small, they become increasingly difficult to control later in the season with glyphosate alone.

“The information provided at the Soybean Summit was meant to help growers manage their operations and maximize their profits,” Hecht says. “Planning the right weed management program is key to success, and Dow AgroSciences was excited to help those in attendance gear up for the 2015 season.”

Dow AgroSciences has a broad portfolio of soybean herbicides that offer residual control to keep fields clean into the season. The portfolio includes Sonic herbicide and Surveil Co-pack herbicide. Sonic provides long-lasting control of tough weeds, including Palmer amaranth. Surveil Co-pack uses a double barrier of residual control to manage herbicide resistance and protect yield potential.