Growing Knowledge

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

Combine Land and Weed Management for 2019 Success

Mark Glady
Regional Agronomist
It’s time to formulate your land management and herbicide programs for 2019. Here’s how combining these strategies can provide optimal weed control without sacrificing sustainability.
 
Herbicide choices
If your 2018 herbicide program adequately controlled weeds, you’ve dramatically reduced the weed seed bank potential for next year’s crop. If some of your 2018 herbicide choices didn’t work as planned and you have weed seed that scattered when you harvested, you’re going to have some challenges come spring. This will make applying a residual herbicide at preemergence particularly important.
 
One option is Threesidual™ herbicide, which contains three active ingredients from three different sites of action to manage weeds in field and silage corn. Add InterLock® adjuvant to the tank mix to achieve optimal deposition.
 
Tillage system
If you are a no-till soybean farmer, it’s important to do a spring burndown with some glyphosate and dicamba prior to planting. And you should apply a broad-spectrum residual herbicide such as PREsidual® herbicide to prevent weeds from emerging. If you use conventional tillage, you will eliminate those weeds during the tillage process, so you don’t need to spray before you plant. However, you will need to apply a preemergence herbicide such as PREsidual herbicide, Charger Basic® herbicide or Dimetric® EXT herbicide, mixed with InterLock adjuvant.
 
Sustainability goals
Conventional tillage, of course, churns the ground up, which can lead to erosion, versus no-till, which reduces it. However, no-till requires more herbicides, which are safe when used according to label directions. If you are a conventional farmer who is trying to work some no-till plantings into your operation, be sure to use a broad-spectrum herbicide program that manages all weed species. Such a program might include applications in addition to the normal spring and early-summer spray times to achieve effective control.
 
Likewise, planting a cover crop can be a good choice for no-till farmers, since it can help reduce soil erosion, preserve topsoil and create better soil structure as a result of its active root system development. Cover crops can also be used effectively with conventional tillage.
 
Agronomist recommendations
Remember that controlling broadleaf weeds such as waterhemp or ragweed can require a different herbicide system than when managing grass species such as foxtail. If you haven’t done so, let your local trusted advisor know specifically which species of weeds and/or grasses were problematic in your fields this season. Then determine which products can manage the issues and what land management practices will best complement that strategy.

Wind Tunnel Will Enhance University of Minnesota Research

Dan Bissell
Senior Research Engineer, Product Development
A donation from WinField United will enable aerosol researchers at the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering (CSE) to study what’s blowin’ in the wind. And then use that knowledge to help farmers.
 
A large wind tunnel once housed at the former WinField United Product Development Center in River Falls, Wisconsin, is now ready to rev up at the Aerosol Diagnostics Laboratory on the university’s Minneapolis campus. The tunnel will be formally presented at a ceremony on November 16.
 
The tunnel played a major role in our breakthrough product research for many years. However, the new WinField United Innovation Center (opened in 2017) required an upgraded wind tunnel designed for the high throughput demanded by our product development process. This prompted us to see if the University of Minnesota was interested in acquiring our existing wind tunnel and using it for agricultural product research.
 
As a graduate of the CSE and having served as an undergraduate research assistant in the aerosol research department, I realized how beneficial this technology will be. 
 
Using aerosol research to fuel ag progress
The aerosol research group of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, founded in the 1950s, is one of the leading centers of small-particle research in the United States. Aerosol research is the study of how particulate matter moves through the air. Our work, which uses active ingredients with various spray nozzles and in multiple tank mixes, has enabled WinField United to develop considerable expertise in understanding the potential for spray drift of agricultural products.
 
Research at the Aerosol Diagnostics Laboratory will help validate and inform our activities at the Innovation Center and vice versa. WinField United and the University of Minnesota will collaborate and share learnings, and expand knowledge about spray drift in the agricultural industry.
 
One area of specific exploration may be dicamba drift. At WinField United, we’ve already begun to examine this issue and the use of drift reduction agents. This new partnership gives us another avenue to help tackle this problem. Examining droplet size more closely might be one way to begin to offer some answers to dicamba drift.
 
Pursuing the unexpected
WinField United sought out the CSE to make a connection with a discipline of science that is distinct from agriculture. We wanted partner with the experts on spray drift and particulate movement in the atmosphere.
 
There are numerous scientific disciplines in the CSE that WinField United could tap into. These include soil health, residual effects of herbicides, movement of pesticides through the soil layer and runoff of crop protection products into waterways. This partnership is a way for our company to bring more subject matter experts into agriculture to offer fresh perspectives on making our industry better for farmers and more sustainable for everyone.
 

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.

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.

Displaying results 1-5 (of 14)
 |<  < 1 - 2 - 3  >  >| 

Subscribe to the Advisor Newsletter

Sign up for monthly agronomic insights and product information.