Need to plan for early-season weed management
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.