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February 1, 2024
Tough-to control weeds and aggressive late-season diseases were some of the many factors working against soybean yield last season.
“The dry weather in many areas put residual herbicides to the test,” says Brad Burkhart, Corteva Agriscience market development specialist, covering Indiana. “This led to more pressure placed on postemergence applications to control those yield-robbing weeds. We also saw some soybean fields impacted by white mold very late in the season.”
Scouting fields regularly for weeds, insects and diseases can help identify escapes before it’s too late. Photo submitted by Corteva Agriscience.
Burkhart says 2024 may be more of the same and to expect soybean weed and disease control to be a challenge, but one that can be overcome with careful planning. He offers these five tips to help you push soybean yield in 2024.
Use a program approach that includes multiple modes of action — against both weeds and disease. “Designing a program approach for both weed and disease control is critical in growing high-yield soybeans,” Burkhart says. “If you know you want to push soybean yield in 2024, you’ll need to use this best agronomic practice to stay ahead of the game.”
Evaluate the preplant residuals program. “If you were unhappy with 2023 soybean yields, I would suggest taking a really good look at the preplant residual herbicide program you used,” Burkhart says. “Starting off the season with a layered residual herbicide will create a barrier and provide control before weeds have a chance to germinate.”
Plant early, if possible. Soybean yield can be increased by an average of 3 to 4 bushels per acre by planting early.1 It’s important to remember the weed control challenges that can come with this timing. Find weed control resources for early planted soybeans here.
Mark your calendar for timely applications of crop protection products, and scout regularly to avoid surprises. “When weeds such as Palmer amaranth or waterhemp get too tall, they become nearly impossible to control. Getting in the habit of spraying trophy weeds means you’ll likely keep a few of those trophies,” Burkhart says. “Applying herbicides when weeds are 2 to 3 inches tall will help ensure the herbicide reaches all growing points of the weed for effective control.”
In addition to timely herbicide applications, fungicides need to be applied at the right time to maximize yield in the face of a disease challenge. Regular scouting can help you identify insects, disease and early weed escapes — before it’s too late.
Consider biological products. “Once you have the major agronomic practices in check, it may be time to start thinking outside the box with new biologicals that can help supplement nitrogen in soybeans. The demand for nitrogen in a high-yield soybean crop is large, and the nodules may not be able to meet all that demand.” Burkhart says. “A biological such as Utrisha N can help supplement that need, kind of like a backup generator. Extensive trials over the last several years have shown farmers who use Utrisha N on soybeans gain an average of 2.5 bushels per acre.”
In addition to Utrisha N, Corteva Agriscience has a growing portfolio of proven biologicals to help soybeans thrive under challenging weather or unfavorable soil conditions. View the full portfolio here.
Contact your local Corteva Agriscience representative to learn more about products and practices that can help you push soybean yield in 2024.
1Pedersen, P. Soybean Planting Date. Iowa State University. https://crops.extension.iastate.edu/files/article/PlantingDate_000.pdf
™ ® Trademarks of Corteva Agriscience and its affiliated companies. Utrisha® N is 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. © 2023 Corteva.
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