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3 tips to control your toughest weeds in 2024

2023 created soybean weed control challenges. For maximum yield potential, use lessons learned last year to keep your fields clean this season.

January 1, 2024

4 Min Read
3 tips to control your toughest weeds
Submitted by Corteva Agriscience

2023 was a tough year for soybean weed control. Farmers across the Midwest faced two major challenges: widespread drought and ongoing weed emergence pattern shifts. Depending on your location, you might deal with these again in 2024. Luckily, there are takeaways from last year you can use to build a better program this season.

Weed Control During Drought

First, let’s consider how drought impacts weeds. Certain varieties, including kochia and ragweed, conserve water by developing a thick, waxy cuticle. Herbicides have a tougher time getting through those cuticles to control the weeds. If you have this problem in 2024, you may need to evaluate the adjuvants in your tank mix and, possibly, upgrade to a crop oil concentrate (COC) or methylated seed oil (MSO) for better herbicide uptake and control.

On the other hand, soybeans can grow thinner under dry conditions, taking longer to close the canopy, blocking off weed competition. When this happens, it’s critical to protect your acres with an effective herbicide program that includes pre- and postemergence passes. This will help ensure soybeans have the sunlight, water and nutrients they need during critical growth stages for maximum yield potential.

And be sure to overlap residual products in that program. In 2023, many soybean farmers found they did not receive ample rainfall for their residuals to activate, allowing weed seeds to germinate. By including residuals in your pre-and postemergence passes, you’ll have a few more weeks of protection in case weather prevents one application from fully activating.

Changing Weed Landscape

Drought wasn’t the only challenge 2023 brought to soybean weed control. Emergence timing continues to evolve, creating new problems for farmers to solve. In some cases, farmers are finding they have difficult weed varieties emerging at drastically different times. For example, in areas with herbicide-resistant kochia and waterhemp, the kochia can emerge in March, while the waterhemp doesn’t emerge until early June.

If you’re seeing similar emergence shifts, you need weed control that can protect your soybeans for up to three months. The way to get that extended protection is by building a program approach with multiple passes, several modes of action and overlapping residual activity.

Tips to Control Tough Weeds

No matter what the 2024 season holds, these three tips can help you control your toughest weeds:

1 . Start Clean. Give your soybeans a strong start by kicking off with a burndown or tillage. Elevore® herbicide is an excellent burndown option, providing thorough control of broadleaf weeds, including ALS- or glyphosate-resistant species.

2 . Create a Powerful Program. Protect your soybeans during important yield-determining stages with pre- and postemergence passes that contain multiple modes of action and several weeks of residual activity.

Using the soybean residual herbicides from Corteva Agriscience plus the Enlist® weed control system equals a powerful combination for clean fields. Farmers who grow Enlist E3® soybeans can apply Sonic® herbicide or Trivence® herbicide preemergence and follow with a postemergence application of Enlist Duo® herbicide or of Enlist One® herbicide plus glufosinate. EverpreX® herbicide can be tank-mixed with Enlist One for another postemergence mode of action and several weeks of residual activity.

3 . Pay Attention to Your Tank Mix. As conditions change in-season, remember smaller details that can have a big impact on weed control efficacy. Adjuvants, for example, could make or break your tank mix if you experience drought this year.

We might not know what 2024 will bring, but we can certainly use lessons learned to help prepare. As you prepare for this growing season, talk with your local retailer or visit Corteva.us to find the best products and solutions for your soybean acres.  

LEGALS ™ ® Trademarks of Corteva Agriscience and its affiliated companies. The transgenic soybean event in Enlist E3® soybeans is jointly developed and owned by Corteva Agriscience and M.S. Technologies L.L.C. Enlist Duo® and Enlist One® herbicides are not registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your area. Enlist One and Enlist Duo herbicides are the only 2,4-D products authorized for use with Enlist® crops. Consult Enlist herbicide labels for weed species controlled. Elevore®, EverpreX®, Sonic® and Trivence® are not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Always read and follow label directions. © 2024 Corteva. 

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