Wallaces Farmer

A new herbicide emerges as pigweed resistance spreads

A newly registered non-HPPD-inhibitor presents a fresh alternative for tackling HPPD-resistant weeds plaguing fields.

June 1, 2024

2 Min Read
A new solution as pigweed resistance spreads
Submitted by BASF

Once heralded as a revolutionary solution for weed control, herbicides now confront an increasing challenge: the rise of resistant weeds and dwindling efficacy. Specifically, Group 27 HPPD-inhibiting herbicides.

Up until 2020, HPPD-inhibition was hailed as the cutting edge in agricultural advancement, but four decades is a long time to rely on one method. While not a recent issue, Palmer amaranth and waterhemp have garnered attention in recent years due to their resilience against post-emergence HPPD-inhibiting herbicides. It begs the crucial question – what alternatives exist?

Enter Surtain™ herbicide, a novel weed-fighting remedy in the market –  pioneering a solid encapsulated premix solution. This newly registered non-HPPD-inhibitor from BASF presents a fresh alternative for tackling those HPPD-resistant weeds plaguing growers’ fields.

Weeds to Watch

While weed species may differ based on the grower’s region, BASF Technical Marketing Manager Josh Putman says those to watch out for in the Midwest are waterhemp, Palmer amaranth, kochia and giant ragweed. These invasive weeds not only compete for vital resources on early-season corn stands but can also significantly impact yield. Waterhemp alone can reduce corn yields by up to 74% if uncontrolled.

Often, what appears to be a small weed to the naked eye can have a significant impact on corn production. As Putman says, “A six-inch weed left uncontrolled can cause up to 7% yield loss with corn production.” Regardless of their location, growers will encounter weeds that require preparation and a solution.

Solution to HPPD resistance

Historically, the repetitive use of HPPD-resistant herbicides has led to the advancement of herbicide resistance.

“Post applications are becoming less effective on waterhemp and Palmer amaranth. HPPD-resistant products are widely used throughout much of the corn belt,” said Putman. “When we created Surtain herbicide, we focused on making sure that we were adding another tool to that toolbox to try and preserve existing HPPD products and not rely on them repeatedly, which is what led to resistance in the first place.”  


On a microscopic level, Surtain herbicide offers a first-of-its-kind premix to protect one of its active ingredients until water hits the chemical and activates it, helping maintain crop safety while unleashing powerful PPO residual chemistry early in the season. With Surtain herbicide, growers can attack 79 broadleaf and weed grass species before they have a chance to emerge, with a flexible pre-through early post-emergence application, while preserving the tools they use for years to come.

For more information on Surtain Herbicide, visit Surtain-Herbicide.US.

Always read and follow label directions. Surtain is a trademark of BASF. © 2024 BASF Corporation. All rights reserved.

Knezevic, S. (2015). The Critical Period of Weed Control in Corn. University of Nebraska Lincoln Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources CropWatch. https://cropwatch.unl.edu/critical-period-weed-control-corn#:~:text=Delaying%20weed%20control%20to%20the%20third%20leaf,costing%20the%20producer%20a%202%%20yield%20loss.

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