Growing Knowledge

Read the latest insights from our experts as they cover agronomy issues that matter most to you and your operation.

Scout Now to Get Ahead of Spring Weeds

Dennis Christie
Agronomist
A proactive approach to crop protection starts at harvest. Whether you’ve already finished harvest or are about to wrap up, your view from the cab is the perfect vantage point to evaluate your 2018 weed management strategy. Knowing what worked — and what didn’t — will help you make the decisions to start strong next season.
 
Identify weed escapes
Starting clean and staying clean is the ultimate goal with weed control, but in order to do that you’ll need to know what you’re up against. Keep a watchful eye on your fields during harvest and note what weed species you find and where you find them.
 
Weed escapes don’t just limit crop yields and grain quality; they can also become compounding challenges by adding to a field’s seed bank. By making good observations and notes about your weed escapes, you’ll know where to focus your scouting efforts next spring.
 
Review your plan
The relative calm of life after harvest provides an opportunity to meet with your trusted advisor and look back at your 2018 weed control strategy. The goal here is to determine the cause of weed escapes and create a plan that minimizes the possibility of them showing up again next year.
 
You’ll want to think about what herbicide tank mixes you used, how you applied them and what size the target weeds were. Perhaps the weeds were simply too large to control effectively when herbicides were applied. If so, you’ll want to adjust your 2019 scouting schedule.
 
Control fall weeds
Depending on the weeds you find during harvest, a fall burndown application may be warranted. Some troublesome species that show resistance to certain modes of action can be just 2 inches tall and already have seed heads. Other species may still germinate in the fall, despite cold weather.
 
If needed, an effective fall burndown herbicide can give your next crop an early advantage against resource competition in the spring.
 
Plan for next year
Most important, the weed control plan you choose should be effective at preventing and controlling herbicide-resistant weeds. That requires rotating multiple modes of action every year. Even if you will be planting different crops and your weed control strategy worked well last year, it is imperative for you to incorporate new modes of action into your plan.
 
This also requires a season-long commitment to weed control. Start clean by using an effective preplant burndown application with residual activity, then stay clean with a postemergence program that layers residuals and includes multiple modes of action.
 
Additionally, adjuvants should complement the herbicides that are used. Adjuvant choice can have a considerable impact on product performance. Because of that, WinField United tests every product under broad conditions for several years before release and provides training on adjuvant use and tank mixes at Answer Plot® spray clinics.
 
Talk with your local trusted advisor about scouting as you harvest and evaluating what you find. Determining your next weed management steps now helps you get an early start on the 2019 season.
 
© 2018 WinField United. Answer Plot® and WinField® are trademarks of WinField United.

Considerations for 2019 Crop Rotation Decisions

Joel and Jon
Hosts, WinField United
On this episode of the Deal With Yield, Joel Wipperfurth and Jon Zuk continue the crop rotation conversation. The two discuss factors that can force a crop rotation decision when farmers are faced with weed resistance and the power of soil health to guide crop plans.
Season 14, Episode 5: Considerations for 2019 Crop Rotation Decisions

The Deal With Yield is a podcast series covering the issues that matter most in crop production.

Nurture Success. Not Weeds.

Holly Thrasher
Technical Seed Manager
Now’s the time to make your soybean trait and herbicide system choices for 2019. Getting a head start on these weed-control decisions will help improve your chances of getting the products you want. Here are some factors to keep in mind when considering your 2019 weed-control strategy.
 
1. Review this year’s weed control outcomes.
Did you get acceptable weed control with the trait package you chose for 2018? Did that trait package protect your soybeans from off-target herbicide movement? These are important considerations for next year’s choices.
 
2. Evaluate herbicide performance.
While it’s important to evaluate how your herbicide performed this year in soybean fields, you also need to determine how well that herbicide system worked in the fields you are planning to rotate to soybeans next year. For example, if you have corn in those fields now, was weed control successful and what weeds were a problem? Knowing what you’ll have to contend with will help enable earlier control.
 
3. Determine the economics of a field.
Your trusted advisor can help you determine if a field has adequate potential for soybeans next year compared to how aggressive you’ll need to be with a herbicide program to manage current weed pressure. They can help you align yield potential with managing for the best ROI on next year’s soybean crop by choosing the most appropriate trait package.
 
4. Start clean in spring.
A fall burndown is especially important in areas where winter annuals such as marestail are an issue. Depending on your geography, a late winter or early spring burndown with a residual herbicide for areas that are prone to summer annuals like kochia will also be important. Remember, choosing the right trait isn’t always going to be the answer. Successful weed management also requires changing up chemistries and using overlapping residuals.
 
5. Practice good stewardship.
Driving down central Kansas roads this summer, I’ve noticed that most farmers have transitioned to using not only LibertyLink® trait technology but also Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® trait technology. I believe this has helped enable more effective weed control. That said, we have to be good stewards of these traits and make sure we do everything we can to avoid herbicide resistance.
 
Your WinField United advisor can also share Answer Plot® information and data regarding different trait packages and herbicide programs based on our in-field testing to help you make the best decision for your farm. Be sure to talk with him or her soon.
 
© 2018 WinField United. Answer Plot® and WinField® are trademarks of WinField United.
LibertyLink® is a trademark of BASF Corporation.
Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® is a trademark of Monsanto Technology LLC.

Gear Up for Fall Burndown Now

Andrew Schmidt
Regional Agronomist
Clean fields in the spring. On-time planting. Fewer pest havens. These are just a few of the benefits of an effective fall burndown. It’s not too early to think about your burndown strategy and consult your local trusted advisor about how to limit next season’s weed pressures. Here are a few tips to get you started.
 
1. Take a look back.
Did you do a fall burndown last year? If so, what worked well? What didn’t? If you didn’t do a fall burndown, were there any consequences? What weeds were most prevalent in your fields in 2018? Answering these questions will help you and your agronomist devise a plan and sort through what herbicides would work best on your acres.
 
2. Take annuals down.
Winter annuals germinate in autumn, so fall burndown is the perfect opportunity to nip these pests, which include fall-emerging marestail, chickweed and henbit, in the bud. A fall burndown can also provide some residual protection against summer annuals, but…
 
3. Don’t rely solely on residual protection.
Even if you do a highly effective fall burndown to control fall weeds, you’ll still need to apply a preemergence herbicide in the spring to control waterhemp, Palmer amaranth, and other weeds and grasses. Your fields will look clean in the spring, but don’t be deceived. Put on the preemergence herbicide for protection.
 
4. No-till? No question.
If you are a no-till farmer, you should absolutely consider a fall burndown. Overwintered marestail, for example, is extremely difficult to control in the spring, and you’ll find yourself in a lot of trouble trying to plant in fields when it is actively growing. It’s imperative to control chickweeds and henbit in the fall too. Clean fields in the spring mean better seedbed preparation and timely planting.
 
5. Don’t forget the adjuvant.
The goal of any herbicide application any time of year is to get as much product as possible to the target weed or soil, so choosing the right adjuvant for the burndown system you use is key. Consider adjuvants such as high-surfactant oil concentrates (HSOCs) or methylated seed oils (MSOs) that work well in challenging environmental conditions. Choose a product that works effectively with a wide range of herbicides to improve spray deposition, enhance canopy penetration and manage drift. Your agronomist can recommend the most appropriate adjuvant for your situation.
 
6. Minimize pest havens.
A fall burndown gives insects fewer places to hide and thrive. If, for some reason, you are unable to do a fall burndown, you can spray an insecticide in the spring; however, you can also rely on seed traits to help control pests. For example, you can plant corn seed with a trait that offers cutworm, corn borer or earworm control.
 
7. Time applications right. (Drier is better.)
To avoid heavy dew, don’t spray early in the morning. Wait until the sun burns it off. Mid-morning to evening is the best time to apply a fall burndown herbicide. Another reason to spray in the fall is that soils are usually drier. This helps minimize compaction compared to waiting until spring when soils are potentially wetter.
 
Large weeds result in limited options and higher costs for you. It pays to be proactive and consistent to achieve season-long weed control, so be sure to get an early start by doing an effective fall burndown. You’ll be thankful you did come spring. Talk with your local trusted advisor now to begin.

The Skinny on Pump Shear and Dicamba Drift

Dan Bissell
Senior Research Engineer, Product Development
Last season brought headlines of farmers who faced challenges when they applied a new dicamba herbicide to their field — as well as to some who did not. More often than not, inadvertent dicamba drift was publicized to be the main culprit for damaged crops and bad feelings between neighbors.
 
At WinField United, we heard the stories. And we have a solution to help limit dicamba drift, giving you greater peace of mind.
 
If you have planted dicamba-tolerant soybeans or cotton this year, using a superior drift reduction adjuvant (DRA) is key to keeping your dicamba applications on target. However, not all DRAs are created equal. Some can break down in the spray tank due to shear in the pump. This renders them largely ineffective.
 
Finding answers
As part of our rigorous WinField® United Product Development Process, we evaluated several DRAs with new dicamba herbicide tank mixes using the WinField® United Spray Analysis System. In our lab-scale testing, some DRAs lost their ability to reduce driftable droplets due to the high shear environment of the pump simulation.1
 
But our testing also revealed a promising opportunity.
 
We found that OnTarget™ adjuvant was more resistant to shear breakdown, maintaining its drift-reduction technology, even after 50 passes through a sprayer pump simulation.
 
ShearGraphic2-copy-web.png 
The pump shear problem
All DRAs start out by decreasing drift when mixed with dicamba. But some may not sustain that performance over time because they are subjected to shear forces in the pump, which occurs when some liquid moves faster than neighboring elements. The theory is that shear force causes the polymers in some DRAs to break apart, diminishing drift control.
 
OnTarget is formulated to be compatible with extra- and ultra-coarse nozzles and dicamba-based tank mixes, and its anti-foam formulation makes application convenient.
 
Adding OnTarget to the tank can give you more confidence about your spray outcomes. Make sure you’re getting the most out of your herbicide investment by reducing drift, enhancing droplet spreading and improving canopy penetration. Talk with your trusted local advisor about how OnTarget can work for your dicamba-tolerant crops this year.
 
 
1. Bissell, D. C., Brown, D., Magidow, L. C., and Gednalske, J. V., “An Assessment of Polymeric Drift Reduction Adjuvant Performance After Prolonged Exposure to Pump Induced Shear,” Pesticide Formulation and Delivery Systems: 38th Volume, Innovative Application, Formulation, and Adjuvant Technologies, ASTM STP1610, B. K. Fritz and T. R. Butts, eds., ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA; 2018.
 
Because of factors outside of WinField United's control, such as weather, applicator factors, etc., results to be obtained, including but not limited to yields, financial performance, or profits, cannot be predicted or guaranteed by WinField United. Actual results may vary.

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