Pre-Emerge Applications are the “Best Recommendation”

Jan 24, 2022

Soybeans without pre-emerge herbicide application
In an unpredictable supply market, pre-emerge herbicides on soybeans can help protect yield potential by addressing critical factors:
  • The weeds are already in the soil, waiting to compete for the sun, water, and nutrients the soybeans need. Pre-emerge herbicides “can reduce the weed seed bank in the soil,” said Craig Loen, Federated agronomist at the Osceola location.
  • Weeds underground are “easier to terminate; they only have one growing point,” said Loen. Once they emerge – especially a resistant weed like waterhemp – the weeds have multiple growing points that make them harder to terminate or control.
  • Small, germinating weeds can be eliminated by a good pre-emerge herbicide, and then, “the next flush of weeds will be similar in size, making the post application more effective,” he said.
  • Resistant weeds (e.g., waterhemp and giant ragweed) have less chance of survival with a good pre-emergence herbicide plan. 
So, what does a good herbicide plan include?
  • Timely application. Some pre-emerge herbicides need to be applied within three days of planting because the “bean seeds can’t be exposed,” said Loen. Row closure is critical; seeds can’t be cracking the surface of the soil. If the herbicide comes in contact with the seed, it can kill the germ.
  • Effective layering of residual herbicides.
  • Multiple modes of action.
  • “Again,” said Loen, “multiple modes of action.” That is the best recommendation for controlling weeds in soybeans.
  • More than one option. In a tight supply market, you may not be able to get your go-to per-emerge herbicide; you need a plan B. And the weather or schedules might frustrate plans further.
In a year when the usual challenges of farming may be complicated by supply issues, it’s critical to have a well-planned “pre- and post-emerge herbicide program based on your farm’s weed pressures and the availability of herbicides,” said Loen. Your Federated Agronomist is ready to help with those plans. Reach out soon.

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