WYOMING, Ill. — When is it important to have a strong herbicide program for corn? Every year is the obvious answer. But when should a corn herbicide program to kill weeds and protect the crop and yield move further up the priority list?
“Herbicide programs are always important and especially so in years like this one. Looking at next year, it looks like commodity prices still are going to be pretty strong,” said Kevin Scholl, Syngenta agronomy service representative for northern Illinois.
When he talks to growers about their herbicide programs for 2022, Scholl covers three priorities for effective weed control and higher yields in corn fields.
“You want to be able to control weeds out there that are going to compete with the crop for sunlight, moisture, nutrients and space. If you reduce those weeds, the plant is going to produce a better yield. You want a long-lasting residual and to keep that crop clean until we get canopy closure. That canopy closure is another important factor related to higher yields. Finally, crop safety is vital. You want to keep those corn plants growing to achieve their full genetic potential,” Scholl said.
In Scholl’s service area, waterhemp and giant ragweed top the list of weed problems in corn fields. Some growers focus on giant ragweed, but Scholl said his priority is waterhemp.
“Some may think of giant ragweed as the most important weed on their farm, but I always steer them back to waterhemp. Waterhemp is not a weed that you want to treat lightly. You have to have an effective program for it,” Scholl said.
Scholl recommends Acuron® corn herbicide. Acuron offers four active ingredients — atrazine, bicylopyrone, mesotrione and S-metolachlor — and three complementary modes of action.
“Acuron is unique in the marketplace with the four different active ingredients, and each one of those complements one another. Those three effective sites of action are so important when you are trying to control difficult weeds like waterhemp,” Scholl said.
Along with effective control of waterhemp and giant ragweed, the four active ingredients and complementary modes of action from Group 27, Group 5 and Group 15 in Acuron provide the total herbicide package.
“It’s a strong grass-killer. Small-seeded broadleaf weeds, like waterhemp, and large-seeded broadleaf weeds, like giant ragweed, are among the 70 weeds that Acuron controls,” Scholl said.
Weather and soil moisture at planting time are the wild cards when planning for the next growing season. No matter what conditions growers face as they start planting corn, the total package of ingredients in Acuron offers weed control for any environment.
“It doesn’t really matter if you have a wet spring or a dry spring, you always will have an active ingredient that is going to be effective. If you have optimum growing conditions, you have the best of all worlds right there to have a weed control program that is going to be effective all season long, with a pre followed by a post and that gets you to that canopy of the crop and beyond,” Scholl said.
Scholl works with growers to focus on the most complete early-season weed control program. Controlling those weeds early eliminates competition for water, nutrients and sunshine.
“It’s those early season weeds, the ones that come up with the crop or are there at that post-emergent timing, that are going to be the most detrimental to yield. Using Acuron is going to keep those fields clean, especially pre emerge until your post emerge application and having that residual to take you to crop canopy,” Scholl said.
This column was contributed by Illinois AgriNews for Syngenta.
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