Challenging Weather Conditions and Weed Control in Soybeans

The cool, wet spring of 2019 didn’t just delay planting for many Midwest farmers, it also created challenges for controlling weeds. As farmers anxiously waited to get into their fields, they also kept an eye on troublesome weed infestations spurred and strengthened by ongoing early season precipitation.

Substantial Rainfall Enhances Spring Weed Growth

After the spring rain subsided, farmers faced the challenges of a tough variety of weeds, including waterhemp, marestail and ragweed. These weeds can present potential obstacles on virtually all farms. However, substantial rainfall can enhance their growth and increase their yield-robbing potential, especially on soybean acres. 

Effective Weed Control Solutions

Sudden warmer weather during the spring further fueled weed growth and resulted in substantial problems for many farmers who were unable to implement tillage programs due to saturated fields. Tyler Uhe, an Asgrow product manager, says that times like these call for a flexible weed control approach. “With the delayed planting, a lot of farmers had to practice burndown on soybean fields with really intense weed pressure,” Uhe says. “The Roundup Ready® Xtend Crop System provided effective control on tough weeds this spring, especially waterhemp, marestail and ragweed.” This practice was critical for helping farmers to plant into weed-free seedbeds and also helped them to avoid the problems of postemergent weed pressure. 

Uhe also indicates that XtendiMax® herbicide with VaporGrip® technology, a restricted use pesticide, proved to be an effective — and timely — solution this year. “As a restricted use pesticide, it does not have a plant-based restriction, so you can plant and spray the same day. That was important this spring when time was valuable,” Uhe says. “In addition, XtendiMax herbicide is a great resource all season long, including as a residual herbicide.” 

Many farmers found XtendiMax herbicide to be an effective dicamba option to help manage glyphosate-resistant and tough-to-control weeds. 

Listen as Asgrow Product Manager Tyer Uhe discusses challenging weather and weed control in soybeans with the Brownfield Network. 

Insect Pressure

Unfortunately, some farmers faced more challenges than just the weather, delayed planting schedules and weeds last spring. “We’ve seen insect pressure in a lot of different regions this season, so anything you can do to protect your soybeans, we definitely recommend doing so,” Uhe says. 

Check with your agronomist or adviser to determine an insecticide treatment that works best for your fields.

A Look to the Future

As troublesome as planting and the growing season were for many farmers, Uhe thinks it was probably an anomaly — and definitely a learning experience. “Plan this fall, knowing what you did this year, and prepare for next year, thinking about your seed purchases and genetics as well as your weed control system to set yourself up for a great harvest,” Uhe says.

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