Syngenta representative says that herbicides are not enough for weed control

In Southeast Farm Press

by John Hart, Southeast Farm Press

The clear takeaway message: Farmers can’t rely on herbicides alone to control tough weeds.

Farm journalists from across the country received a short course in managing resistant weeds during the Syngenta Media Summit held Oct. 28 at the Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, N.C.

In a panel discussion at the summit, Dane Bowers and Gordon Vail, Syngenta’s technical product leads for herbicides; Tim Hambrick, area field crop agent for Forsyth, Stokes, and Surry Counties with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service; and Dorchester, Nebraska farmer Jayme Dick-Burkey all agreed that cover crops, hand pulling and tillage practices play critical roles in managing resistant weeds in addition to the use of herbicides.

The key points emphasized:

  • Start clean with tillage or an effective burndown plus a pre-emergence residual herbicide application. Catch weeds when they are small.
  • Always use a two-pass system. Follow a pre-emergence application with a properly timed post-emergence application. Apply at full rates with recommended adjuvants.
  • Use multiple modes of action with efficacy on target weeds.
  • Use diversified management programs such as cover crops, mechanical weed control and crop rotation.
  • Do not allow weeds to go to seed and add to the seed bank. Remove weed escapes early.
  • Utilize good agronomic practices: Narrow rows, increased plant populations and other practices that promote crop growth and competitive ability.

Syngenta’s Bowers said the use of a two-pass herbicide program is particularly important in soybeans and cotton. “It’s really critical that we do a pre-emergence and follow that up with a post-emergence application,” he said.

In addition, Bowers said utilizing the full label rate is vital. “When we use below label rates we’re not only selecting for a high level of resistance but we are also selecting over time for weeds that carry genes that might give them low levels of resistance. If we use a full label rate, we at least reduce that possibility for selecting those weeds that have low levels of resistance in the population,” he stressed.

See the rest of the story at Southeast Farm Press.

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