Plan Early for Weed-free Fields

Even with new soybean traits, weed-free fields require comprehensive planning.

As a grower was scanning fields from his combine during harvest, he looked out over the resistant waterhemp, velvetleaf escapes and marestail populations throughout the field and said, “I am really looking forward to planting seed with the new soybean trait so I can use certain dicamba to burn down the weeds in these fields.”

His acceptance of new technology – in this case, dicamba-tolerant soybeans – is one way to gain a competitive edge, but don’t expect too much from a single herbicide. Work with your agronomy advisors on a comprehensive crop protection plan for next season to help ensure you will have a successful year, free of weed concerns.

Weed Seeds in the Bank

Parts of the Midwest saw dry weather early in 2016, so herbicide applications were not as effective as they could have been. But, with sufficient moisture later in the season and plenty of late weed germination, the weed seed bank quickly became full. Weed pressure will definitely be increased on many of those acres rotating from corn to soybeans in 2017.

Plan. Plan. Plan.

Use these seven tips for weed-control success in 2017, with or without new trait technology:
1.    Evaluate. Look back at what worked on your farm during the last growing season and decide what you need to change. Be deliberate; the best approach is a field-by-field evaluation.
2.    Start clean. Use a soil-applied preemergence herbicide treatment to stop resistant weeds before they have a chance to come up.
3.    Mix it up. Use a comprehensive herbicide program. You want a sequential weed-control program that brings multiple modes of action into the field. Choose modes of action that are new to your fields or are known to be effective on the specific weeds you’re going after.
4.    Don’t fear the unknown with new technology like the Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® trait with dicamba tolerance. Change can be good if it benefits your operation. The new trait can help control weeds that have become resistant to other herbicide active ingredients and will perform well in wet, cool conditions where some other herbicides can’t keep weeds down.
5.    Watch the weather. From the start of the season all the way through, the key is to make applications in suitable weather, both for the best weed-control activity and to be sure you get the most active ingredient on target weeds. Current-generation mobile technology has apps that will forecast the best days for effective application. Regardless of when you make applications, if conditions aren’t right, you will lose performance.
6.    Use your team. Talk with your local DuPont team – from your seed representative to your local crop protection expert to the field development team. They will work together to help you create field-specific crop protection plans.
7.    Plan early. Each fall, go over the results for each field. If there were problems on your corn acres in 2016, consider what could happen in those acres when you plant them to soybeans in 2017 and plan to prevent weed issues.

Complete Farm Program

When you don’t have effective weed control, a 3- to 5-bushel yield loss could be possible on some acres due to heavy weed populations simply because harvest is difficult. Combine that with lost yield potential due to competition and you can see how new technology that provides sound weed control can put you ahead of the pack. Better performance due to the latest soybean genetics could deliver 2 to 4 additional bushels above previous genetics.

Be sure to work with a team that helps you address both the agronomic and financial sides of your business. As you consider your plan for next year’s growing season, remember to use a full program – not a single product – to improve results next year and for years to come.

Be sure to save with the TruChoice® Early Pay Multiplier. Matching your crop protection to seed selections can earn you big financial rewards with a customized crop protection program for 2017.

TruChoice® program terms and conditions apply.


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