Apr 13, 2020

Which soybean seed is best? Enlist®, Xtend®, Liberty®? What about controlling weeds – the tough ones, like waterhemp and giant ragweed? What about disease, especially white mold?

And what if you simply like a particular seed, herbicide, or fungicide? Then what?

“There are great options to help control weed pressure like waterhemp and giant ragweed without burning your soybeans,” said Craig Peterson, Federated agronomist at the Ogilvie location, but the question remains: What’s right for your farm?

Some of the new combinations of traits, varieties, and chemistries are showing themselves to be consistently good, and some of the old standbys are hard to replace, but no matter what, “the key is to be ahead of weed pressure [and disease potential],” said Peterson.

“Start with a good pre-emerge herbicide 2-3 days after planting – no matter which trait package you choose,” he said. And that includes conventional soybeans.

Federated recommends Flexstar® GT 3.5 herbicide, a proven product with an excellent track record, for application when weeds are 3-4 in. high (which requires good field scouting).

Flexstar® GT 3.5 is a mixture of Flexstar with glyphosate. Because the product has some residual properties applying “a little early is better than too late,” Peterson said. Tank mixing residual herbicides such as Dual® or Warrant® can “pay huge dividends in keeping fields clean,” especially for problematic weeds, such as waterhemp, that came emerge late in the season.

It’s important to note that “while there is some burn with Flexstar GT 3.5, using the right adjuvant can greatly reduce burn and enhance weed control,” said Peterson. Federated recommends Plexus® as a replacement for crop oil concentrates, methylated seed oils, and non-ionic surfactants.

Peterson emphasized that there are stringent rotation and use restrictions (see pg. 11-12 on label) on Fomesafen, the active ingredient in Flexstar GT 3.5, and consequently it is important to consult and closely follow the label directions. Federated’s service area covers two different zones – and thus, two different sets of rules for application depending upon your location. These restrictions prevent over-applying – which can “haunt you later,” Peterson said.

“Consult with your local Federated Agronomist to make sure you are using the best variety, chemistry, and proper timing for your farm,” said Peterson. And, “please take time to stay safe this planting season”!

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