Corn School: Make a list to avoid overworking certain herbicides

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Certain herbicides have done plenty of heavy lifting when it comes to the fight against weeds over the last number of decades, but as herbicide resistance becomes more common, it’s important to spread out that workload whenever possible.

Corn is often a crop where there are more herbicide options, explains Jeanette Gaultier, technical services specialist with BASF, in this Corn School episode.

It’s worth taking a few minutes to go through your farm’s typical rotation of active ingredients to understand the risk of losing an effective herbicide to resistance, she says.

“I like to suggest that farmers sit down, take your general rotation, and looking back or looking forward, write down what herbicides you would normally use. Then you crack open your Guide to Crop Protection, and write down or match up each product with the modes of action. Then just go through that list and see if you’re overusing a certain mode of action,” explains Gaultier.

“Corn is a great one to focus on, because there are a lot of options, even here in the West. So it’s nice to see where you can shift things up, and get away from overuse of certain modes of action,” she notes.

That might mean using a different pre-emerge product for corn and saving dicamba for soybeans, as an example, says Jason Voogt of Field 2 Field Agronomy, joining Gaultier in this episode, filmed near Winkler, Manitoba.

“If I have a grower, for example, that’s growing corn and soybeans, and has that Xtend (dicamba tolerant) technology to use in the soybeans, I would use it there, and not use it in front of the corn. We can use the dicamba in front of the corn at a lower rate, but to keep the pressure off dicamba to be pulling all the weight, keep it in the soybeans, and then use other technologies in the corn,” he explains.

“We know that corn is a very poor competitor too, and has a very big, critical weed-free period, probably a bigger period in Manitoba. So then we want to look at other pre-emergence options that are out there,” says Voogt. “There’s definitely more that we can use and more chemistries that we can use in-crop as well.” .

Taking that time to write down, assess, and then mix and match modes of action is not only good for corn, but can really help clean up a field for crops with fewer options the following year, says Gaultier.

Check out the video below for more with Jeanette Gaultier of BASF and Jason Voogt of Field 2 Field Agronomy, speaking with Kelvin Heppner, on herbicide stewardship and recommendations to avoid overworking certain herbicide modes of action:

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Corn School (view all)Season 12 (2023) Episode 19
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