Growing Knowledge

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

4 Tips for Successful Weed Control

Andrew Schmidt
Regional Agronomist
Spring is just around the corner, and you know that the emergence of troublesome weeds won’t be far behind. If you haven’t done so already, talk with your local trusted advisor about your weed-control strategy for 2018. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you formulate a plan to tackle weeds throughout their growth cycles.
1. Look at last year.
Evaluate the performance of your 2017 weed-control strategy to see what worked well and what you’d like to switch up. Note last year’s most prevalent weeds and devise your plan for controlling them first. Your local agronomist can equip you with resources — for example, university research and/or Answer Plot® Program data — that can help you make good agronomic and economic decisions for your fields.
2. Start with a clean field at planting.
Use tillage or an effective burndown application to get your crop off to a weed-free start. An effective herbicide strategy consists of using multiple modes of action, correct herbicide rates and timely postemergence applications. In no-till cropping systems, I usually recommend doing a fall burndown. Fall-emerging marestail is very difficult to control with herbicides in the spring, especially in parts of the Midwest. If you did not do a fall burndown, your spring burndown will need to use effective modes of action to control any winter annuals and/or marestail in your fields.
I recommend using three effective modes of action for any weed-management program. This strategy consists of residuals and postemergent herbicides. The postemergent herbicides should be applied in a timely manner and offer another residual to protect against later-emerging weeds such as waterhemp and Palmer amaranth. This can be an effective strategy for both traditional tillage and no-till systems. Be sure to check herbicide labels for plant growth restrictions on postemergent herbicides.  
3. Choose the right adjuvant.
The goal is to get all the herbicide you possibly can to the target weed or soil, so choosing the right adjuvant for whatever burndown system you use is key. InterLock® adjuvant works effectively with a wide range of herbicides to improve spray deposition and manage drift. OnTarget™ adjuvant is designed specifically for use with dicamba herbicide chemistries to reduce driftable fines and enhance canopy penetration. Talk with your agronomist about what adjuvant would work best for your fields.
4. Know your weed emergence schedule.
As I mentioned earlier, marestail can emerge in the fall, but it is one of the earlier weeds that also emerges in the spring. Another early emerger is giant ragweed. With these weeds, an early burndown application is important to achieve adequate control. Waterhemp and Palmer amaranth have a longer period of emergence — from early spring to peak emergence in June and early July. So make sure you use an effective preemergence herbicide, but also use a layered residual herbicide post emergent for late-emerging Palmer amaranth and waterhemp.
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.

Fall Burndown Best Practices: Part 1

Joel and Kyle
Hosts, WinField United
On this episode of The Deal With Yield®, hosts Joel and Kyle welcome agronomist Andy Schmidt to discuss the importance of managing tough-to-control weeds for next season with a fall burndown this fall. Hear Andy’s tips for ensuring these applications are effective.
Season 10 – Episode 1: Fall Burndown Best Practices: Part 1

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

Make Spray While the Sun Shines

Joel and Kyle
Hosts, WinField
On this episode of The Deal With Yield®, host Joel Wipperfurth and agronomist Mark Glady are back to tackle a question from a farmer about the role weather plays in herbicide performance. Listen for their insights on how to adjust management practices based on weather patterns, including which adjuvants to add to the spray tank.
Season 9 Episode 4: Make Spray While the Sun Shines

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

Eliminating Volunteer Corn Competition

Andrew Schmidt
Regional Agronomist
Year after year, I see volunteer corn popping up in soybean fields, ready to take a considerable bite out of yields. When left uncontrolled, this difficult weed competes with soybean plants for moisture, nutrients and sunlight, reducing bushels per acre while limiting bottom-line returns.
Volunteer corn can be difficult to control due to its rapid growth and the plant’s upright, waxy leaves. To reign in this tough weed, herbicide applications not only need to hit targeted weed leaves; they also must penetrate the waxy cuticle to enter the plant. Timely treatments using effective products will help you get the best return from every spray droplet and avoid costly retreatments.
Here are a few tips to help you achieve volunteer corn control and preserve soybean yields.
  1. Scout early. Because volunteer corn plants can get big and difficult to control very quickly, be sure to scout for this yield-robber along with other weeds and pests early in the season. By identifying volunteer corn plants when they’re small, you have time to add an effective grass herbicide to early postemergent tank mixes and protect soybean yield potential.
  2. Treat promptly. It’s much easier to control young, actively growing weeds than larger species with hardened cuticles. If treatment is delayed, hot, dry weather later in the season makes volunteer corn even more challenging to control.
  3. Choose the right herbicide.  Section® Three herbicide from WinField United provides fast, effective control of volunteer corn and other grassy weeds while offering a large application window. It is also a compatible tank mix partner with a wide range of herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and micronutrients for application flexibility.
  4. Include the right adjuvant. Grassy weed herbicides including Section® Three generally require the use of a high surfactant oil concentrate for effective control. WinField United recently introduced StrikeLock™ adjuvant for use with oil-loving herbicides. As part of the InterLock® family of adjuvants, the drift and deposition properties in StrikeLock™ help more herbicide reach targeted weeds and remain on leaf surfaces, while its high surfactant oil concentrate helps penetrate waxy cuticles for enhanced weed control.
  5. Match rates to weed size. Using the right rates of the herbicide and adjuvant is crucial for volunteer corn control. Note the size of the weed at the time of application and apply the corresponding herbicide and adjuvant rates listed on the product labels for optimum control.
  6. Maintain adequate spray coverage. Select the right spray tip and increase the gallons per acre to maximize coverage. Using a spray tip that delivers a medium- to coarse-size droplet will help spray coverage of volunteer corn. 
Because herbicide and adjuvant rates vary according to your conditions, contact your local agronomist for specific treatment recommendations.

Section and InterLock are registered trademarks, and StrikeLock is a trademark of Winfield Solutions, LLC.

Tips for Early-Season Spraying

Mark Glady
Regional Agronomist
Are you confident that you’re getting the most out of your spray investments? Here are some tips to help you start off right and stay on track with your nozzle selection and tank-mixing regimen.

1. Understand product labels. Particularly with the regulations surrounding this year’s new dicamba-tolerant soybeans, it’s important to pay attention to nozzle or spray pressure restrictions as well as any setback restrictions from sensitive areas.

2. Minimize drift. Drift potential can be alleviated by using the correct nozzle at the right pressure for spraying certain products. For example, the Turbo TeeJet® flat-fan nozzle generates a smaller droplet. The Turbo TeeJet® Induction (TTI) nozzle for dicamba gives you a larger, heavier droplet that has more velocity to continue down to the target without a high potential to drift or float away in the wind. It’s hard to find one nozzle that can satisfy different demands, so use multiple nozzles to best manage your spray droplet size and control drift.

You can also help minimize drift by adding the correct adjuvant to your tank mix. Adjuvants help reduce the amount of fine particles in the spray, get more crop protection product on the target and help it stay there.

3. Don’t reduce coverage. Although large droplets are less likely to drift, they can also reduce coverage, which can be a negative when your objective is to eliminate certain weeds. Large droplets are not so bad for dicamba herbicides, but they can be challenging for dicamba tank-mix partners or herbicides that specialize in eliminating volunteer corn. These chemistries perform better when coverage is broader.  

4. Keep your sprayer clean. If you use dry flowable herbicides, it takes a lot of agitation to get them completely dissolved and to keep them in suspension or in solution. If they don’t dissolve, they can get hung up in screens, caked up in strainers or caught up in the end caps of spray booms. Be sure to check your sprayer for residue, and clean it out promptly.

5. Be mindful of mixing order. Most label directions call for starting off with at least half a tank of water, then adding dry flowables or water-soluble products, followed by liquid products, then emulsifiable concentrates. We all know that mixing order is important, but sometimes it’s hard to give it the attention it needs in the heat of a busy growing season.

However, adding products slowly and giving them ample time to agitate, dissolve and become well-mixed greatly increases your chances of having a successful tank mix without incompatibility issues. I always like to remind applicators that the solution to pollution is dilution.

Check out The Deal With Yield® farming podcast for more in-season insights like these.
The Deal With Yield is a registered trademark of Winfield Solutions, LLC.
TeeJet is a registered trademark of TeeJet Technologies.
© 2017 Winfield Solutions, LLC

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