Marestail Control Essential to Protect Yield

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

Source: Purdue University

No-till practices save soil and offer many other benefits, but soybean producers know there's at least one big disadvantage: Not tilling gives weeds, particularly problematic marestail, a chance to thrive.

"The biggest challenge we have in no-till soybeans across Ohio and surrounding states is control of glyphosate-resistant marestail in the spring," said Ohio State University Extension weed specialist Mark Loux.

Marestail emerges in fields from late March through June, and again in late summer through fall. Spring-emerging marestail competes with soybeans throughout the growing season, eventually bolting to a height of 3 to 6 feet — enough to interfere with harvest. It's more of a problem in the southern two-thirds of the state, though it's moving north, Loux said.

Loux said a one-two punch is necessary for marestail control in no-till fields: An effective burndown herbicide treatment to ensure planting is done in weed-free fields, and a residual treatment controlling the growth of any new weeds until early to mid-June, when the leaves of the soybean plants are large enough to form a canopy that provides plenty of control.

In a 2010 marestail study, Loux found soybean yields were severely affected when marestail wasn't controlled:

  • In fields where a burndown treatment failed to control marestail, yields averaged 51 bushels per acre.
  • In fields where the burndown treatment was effective, but no residual herbicide was applied, yields averaged 57 bushels per acre. 
  • In fields where both burndown treatment was effective and residual herbicides were used, yields averaged 65 bushels per acre.
This spring, it should be easier for farmers to make an effective burndown application, Loux said. Because last fall was so dry, most of the marestail that emerged at that point — which is normally difficult to eradicate from fields in the spring — didn't thrive. But a burndown treatment is still needed for spring-emerging weeds, he said.

Timing of the burndown application is an important factor, Loux said. Cold temperatures can reduce herbicides' effectiveness. Don't apply treatments when nighttime temperatures could get down to 35 or 40 degrees — wait until conditions warm up and nighttime temperatures are steadily 40 or 50 degrees, he said.

Weed problems are also an issue in no-till corn fields, Loux said, but farmers generally have a wider array of effective herbicides to handle those problems.

"For soybeans, the choices are fewer as to what will actually control the vegetation that's out there, and you have to use the right rates and the right combinations to really get control," he said.

Specific recommendations for both burndown herbicide treatments and residual control are listed in an updated fact sheet, "Control of Marestail in No-Till Soybeans," by Loux and Purdue University weed specialists Bill Johnson and Glenn Nice. It is available on OSU Extension's Agronomic Crops Team Web site.

Additional information is available in the 192-page "Weed Control Guide for Ohio and Indiana, 2011," available at county Extension offices and on OSU Extension's e-Store here.

Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...

Related Articles

Comments (0) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

Grain Storage Systems

Behlen Grain Storage Systems offers large capacity bins with diameters from 16’ to 157’ and capacities exceeding 1,500,000 bushels. All ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form