Early-season weed control in corn pays off
The message is being heard loud and clear by a large percentage of corn growers that early-season weed competition reduces end-of-season yield.
“I’d say 95 percent of the guys we’ve been working with in the last couple years have been using a preemergence herbicide for their corn. It hasn’t been a hard job convincing them, even the guys that are growing Roundup Ready corn,” said Harley Jones, Crop Production Services, Ferris, Ill. About 50 percent of growers in the Ferris area are growing conventional corn compared to Roundup Ready hybrids.
“I like farmers to use a full dose of residual herbicide, not cut rates, so that they have all the horsepower in the field that they might need,” Jones said.
Some university and company research shows that if weeds are allowed to emerge with corn and are left uncontrolled while corn is growing from the V2 to V4 stage, the yield loss is usually more than one bushel per acre per day.
The longest lasting residual is what farmers need to keep their corn field clean early and possibly until the corn shades the row middles, quite possible with narrower planted rows.
For Jones, his residual herbicide recommendations are based on products that will last long enough so that if a farmer cannot get back into a field for a post herbicide application because of weather, then that preemergence herbicide will hold back the weeds as long as possible. Limited field work was the case in the Ferris area last year when 26 inches of rain fell in June and there was cool weather; therefore, it is important that a preemergence herbicide performs during highly variable weather.
Brian “Mac” McDaniel, Bayer, senior technical sales consultant for much of Indiana, said Corvus and its related stable mate, Capreno, effectively destroy weed competition. “Corvus and Capreno both have root and shoot uptake, solid residual control and innovative crop safeners as well. Weed control occurs as broadleaf weeds or grasses germinate or as they emerge. The active chemistries work well in extremely wet or dry environmental conditions. Corvus is mainly used PE or EP, and can also be used PPI, or PP, while Capreno is mainly used early postemerge,” he explained.
Jones has recommended a lot of Corvus herbicide, and growers report being highly satisfied. To develop trust with customers, he says that he airs all the pros and cons to any herbicide program to a customer, and the grower makes the ultimate decision based on back and forth discussion.