Throughout the Midsouth, growers have long dealt with weeds and weed pressure unlike that found in other regions of the United States. Glyphosate-resistant species, difficult-to-control species, wide emergence windows, multiple flushes throughout the growing season, heavy seed production, as well as the development of resistance to additional herbicide modes of action keep growers on their toes. Despite the scope of the weed challenges, the best approach for successful weed control continues to follow a fundamental best management practice: Start clean and stay clean.
Trey Koger, Ph.D., who grows cotton, soybeans, corn, rice and peanuts near Belzoni, Mississippi, agrees clean fields at planting give all of his crops the best possible start.
“We start all our weed control, and especially our cotton program, with a very good burndown,” Koger says. “We drag the rows off, so we can plant into nice, clean seedbeds. Next, we come in with a preemergence program followed by an early postemergence herbicide to help us control weeds that emerge after the cotton is up. This year, we had the opportunity to try Enlist cotton with Enlist Duo herbicide on some of our acres with a grower research plot. It fit our program well, and we look forward to using it in the future.”
Be proactive, scout
By taking a proactive approach now, growers can start 2016 with clean fields and have a strategy in place to help keep fields clean all season long. Scouting fields and referring to field history provides knowledge of the weeds in each field and their prevalence, which is vital in choosing the most effective herbicide combinations and application timing.
Control late-season weeds
Where late-season weeds are actively growing this fall, use tillage or a burndown application to stop further seed development and make it easier to start clean next spring. Keep in mind: Palmer amaranth can produce around 500,000 seeds per plant, and up to 1 million in ideal conditions. Like most weeds, the seeds remain viable in the soil for several years.
Follow a program approach
When planning herbicide strategy, especially in areas with significant resistant populations, use a program approach that starts with broad-spectrum soil residual herbicides offering multiple modes of action. Preemergence herbicide applications — including a burndown — create a clean field at planting and offer control of early season weeds, eliminating weed competition during the crop’s critical early growth.
This window of early season control also provides time to plant your entire crop and then get back into fields for timely applications of postemergence weed control.
Apply on time, on label
The broad spectrum of weed challenges impacting corn, cotton, soybeans and rice underscore the value of controlling weeds early in the season. Many postemergence herbicides must be applied when weeds are 4 to 6 inches or shorter. In ideal conditions, a weed such as Palmer amaranth can grow 2 inches per day, so that doesn’t leave much time for application.
With new technology such as the Enlist™ Weed Control System, timely postemergence applications of Enlist Duo® herbicide at full label rates will help take control of the toughest weeds, including resistant and hard-to-control species such as Palmer amaranth. Enlist corn, soybeans and cotton are tolerant to Enlist Duo herbicide, a proprietary blend of new 2,4-D choline and glyphosate. With an additional mode of action, Enlist Duo helps control resistant and hard-to-control weeds. Be sure to follow label directions for application. Regulatory approvals are pending for the use of Enlist Duo on Enlist cotton.
For more information on developing a program approach to weed control for your farm and the latest herbicide-tolerant trait technology to help manage hard-to-control and resistant weeds in 2016, visit the Enlist YouTube channel, follow on Twitter at @EnlistOnline or visit Enlist.com.
™Enlist and Enlist Duo are trademarks of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow. Enlist Duo herbicide is not yet registered for use on Enlist cotton. Enlist Duo is not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Always read and follow label directions. ©2015 Dow AgroSciences LLC