Pre-Emerge Herbicides for the Win

Mar 13, 2024

early weeds in soybeans
There’s no getting around it: pre-emerge herbicides are the key to keeping fields clean. Post-emerge alone just doesn’t cut it.
“Start clean and stay clean,” said Kevin Carlson, Federated’s agronomy sales manager. No crop likes competition, so this “fundamental agronomy principle,” said Carlson, needs to be followed. Once the weeds are visible, the battle intensifies.
Don’t let the weeds even start to rob the crop of water, sunlight, and nutrients.
Pre-emerge applications can keep the competition at bay. Then post-emerge applications can serve as “clean up” to kill the weeds that escaped. The pre and post combination is the best way to maximize economic yields.
Sam Johnson, ag sales rep for the Albertville area, said, “The biggest thing is to stay on top of your weed pressure.” And as Carlson said, “It’s absolutely critical [to apply pre-emerge herbicides] or you will be chasing weeds all summer.”
“When you see weeds, it’s almost too late,” said Johnson. Plan ahead for custom application (call Federated up to a week ahead), and make sure your own plans are in place if you apply your own herbicides.
The biggest weed challenges come from waterhemp and giant ragweed, “though waterhemp is a little more difficult to control than giant ragweed,” said Johnson, and both weeds are a challenge in the Albertville area.
Waterhemp needs to be sprayed before it is four inches tall – after that, it’s too late. (Which reinforces the need for pre-emerge applications.) And, waterhemp germinates all season long.
The window for pre’s is small, especially on soybeans. Watch future Agronomy Updates for “Plan B” options when/if the window closes on your pre-emerge applications.
Contact your Federated Agronomist and get plans set for pre-emerge applications this spring.

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