Start Clean. Stay Clean.

Apr 29, 2019

Soybean Pre-Emerge Herbicides

As new trait technologies continue to develop and come into the market place, the question arises each spring…Do I still need to use a pre-emerge herbicide if I am using this new technology?

If you are looking to maximize yield, the answer is Yes.

According to multiple studies, including Southern Illinois University’s weed management soybean study, 0.7 bu/acre is lost for every 1” of weed growth in soybeans.

Each winter during multiple agronomy update meetings, the phrase “Start clean. Stay clean.” comes up at some point throughout the discussion. That approach begins with a herbicide used before the plant comes up in the spring, whether it be a fall application, spring pre-plant application, or a spring pre-emerge application before the soybeans crack the soil surface. Depending on the technology you plan to use this growing season, Roundup Ready 2, Roundup Extend, Liberty, Enlist, or GT-27 are all options, but contain the same common recommendation:

Spray a pre-emerge herbicide to maximize yield and manage weed resistance for years to come.

Spray Soil - Not Plants. One piece of advice I have been given, and continue to pass on, year after year is, “The best way to control a weed is to spray soil - not plants.” Spraying weeds below-ground gives us the ability to target 1 growing point vs multiple growing points once the weed emerges above the soil surface. For example, a waterhemp plant 3” in size generally produces 9-10 growing points and can grow 1” per day and double its growing points as it increases in size. If the herbicide does not reach each growing point when the application is made, regrowth occurs at that growing point that was not affected by the herbicide application. Keep in mind that Palmer Amaranth is starting to show up and producers/agronomists that have dealt with it say it’s 'waterhemp on steroids.

Be Proactive. Adding additional modes of action both above ground and below ground helps to control weeds throughout the growing season as well. Keep in mind the concept of ‘spraying soil’ when using post-emerge products also.  This spring and summer as you make your Flexstar, Engenia, Liberty type applications, look at adding a lay-by herbicide to help control the weeds that have yet to emerge at that time. Some of the products in the market place that can be used in post-emerge applications are Charger Basic (Dual), Outlook, Warrant, as well as many others. Each product requires rainfall to activate in the soil and is a great, proactive approach to weed management.

Make Every Acre Your Best Acre.

Regardless of the technology you plan to use this growing season, please remember to keep that pre-emerge application in your herbicide program and if you haven’t used one in the past, take a look at adding it to your current management practices or trying it on some acres to see the benefits throughout the growing season as well as in the combine this fall.

Talk to your Full Circle Ag Agronomist to find out which weed management program fits your acre the best. Thank you for your business and we wish you a safe, successful 2019!

Eric Paulson
Forman Agronomy Manager/Sales

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