The stock of a young morningglory is typically purple to reddish at the base. For a mature morningglory, a vine can quickly grow up to 15 feet tall with very long stems that branch off from one another, twisting and climbing over everything.
Morningglory doesn’t always receive as much attention as giant ragweed, marestail, Palmer amaranth or waterhemp but it is a difficult-to-control weed nonetheless and some Iowa farmers are seeing more of it in recent years.
Brady Van Kooten, sales agronomist with Key Cooperative at Sully in south-central Iowa, observes that while waterhemp continues to be the biggest driver weed in his area, morningglory is becoming more of an issue. “Morningglory is really hard to control as they come up late in the summer,” he says.
This weed is a prolific seed producer
Large-seeded broadleaf weeds, like morningglory, are difficult to control because they emerge from deeper within the soil profile. Their large seed size combined with a hard, impenetrable seed coat can make preemergence herbicides less effective, leaving some seeds viable in the soil for more than 50 years.
Each morningglory plant can produce 500 seeds per plant and, left uncontrolled, can be both a yield robber and a harvest staller. Weeds can crawl up and over corn plants, leaving a tangled mess that slows combines at harvest.
Morningglory is often not effectively controlled by glyphosate. Once it is established, it is also difficult to control with other postemergence herbicides. So, herbicide options for season-long control had been difficult until recent years.
When Syngenta released Acuron corn herbicide with four active ingredients, including bicyclopyrone, and three effective sites of action, farmers had a new option to control large-seeded broadleaf weeds like morningglory. Bicyclopyrone complements the other active ingredients in Acuron to deliver more effective and more consistent control than competitive products – especially on large-seeded broadleaf weeds like morningglory.
Active ingredients give better control
Van Kooten has upgraded his customers to using Acuron to fight morningglory and other weeds with good success. “We recommend Acuron as a postemergence application,” he says, “and we get a lot better control than we did with previous options.”
Mike Wormley, sales agronomist with Key Cooperative in Newton, started selling Acuron when it first came out, switching many customers from Lumax EZ herbicide to Acuron.
“With some of the other products, we were missing some of the morningglory and giant ragweed,” he says. “Throughout the season, we would have decent control, but then at about tassel time, you would start seeing weeds poke above the canopy. With Acuron, Syngenta basically added bicyclopyrone to Lumax EZ, which gave us better control of morningglory, which is where Lumax EZ had a hole and wasn’t providing control.”
He’s seen good results from customers who upgraded to Acuron. “With that fourth active ingredient, Acuron has given us a longer season of control, whereas we were seeing some escapes previously and had to do a two-pass program. But the Acuron, with its fourth active ingredient, has really given us season-long control.”
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