• Crop Protection
  • Feb 23, 2022

3 Tips to Optimize Preemergence Weed Control

Close up of a spray boom applying herbicide.
With several factors contributing to potential herbicide shortages for the 2022 planting season, farmers are questioning how to address weed control. Glyphosate and glufosinate are expected to be in tight supply, and farmers who can secure the chemicals will likely pay a premium for them. With so much uncertainty surrounding herbicide availability this season, here are a few tips that can set a solid foundation for effective weed control.

Put extra effort into your preemergence program.

Preemergence herbicides should always be part of a weed management strategy, but they will be more important than ever this season to take the pressure off postemergence applications. It’s essential to know which weeds are most troublesome in your fields so you can choose the most effective herbicides to control them.  
 
Choose products with multiple modes of action and layer residual products to extend control. I recommend Group 15 herbicides, along with PPO inhibitors and a metribuzin product, like Dimetric® Liquid herbicide, to get an effective burndown before planting.
 
Review herbicide labels to choose the most suitable adjuvants to increase efficacy. Spending a couple of extra dollars on an effective adjuvant could make the difference between average and excellent weed control this season. StrikeLock® adjuvant, for example, is a high surfactant oil concentrate (HSOC) with drift reduction technology that I recommend using with most PPO inhibitors in a burndown situation to help reduce drift and improve deposition for optimal pesticide performance.

Don’t cut corners with applications.

Whether you’re making a preemergence or postemergence application, you should pay extra attention to your spray practices. If you plan to use older chemistries, making timely applications and matching herbicide rates to weed size is critical. Nozzle selection can make or break an herbicide application, so before you hit the field, be sure you’ve invested in appropriate nozzles based on the chemistry you’re using.
 
Lowering your sprayer’s boom height can help reduce drift to keep more active ingredient on target. The University of Nebraska reports that when the boom height is doubled, for example, from 24 to 48 inches, the amount of drift increases 350% at 90 feet downwind.
 
You can optimize herbicide performance by choosing effective adjuvants that improve the characteristics of a spray solution. UltraLock adjuvant is a new, next-generation drift and deposition aid (DRA) that enhances herbicide efficacy by reducing fine particles and optimizing spray droplet size. The innovative formulation provides up to 20% more leaf coverage than other DRAs, enabling more herbicide active ingredient to be intercepted by growing weeds. UltraLock adjuvant is compatible with more than 20 top tank-mix partners and approved for use with dicamba, glyphosate, 2,4-D and other chemistries.

Have several backup plans.

Farmers have become accustomed to getting on-demand services and products from their retailers when they need them. Unfortunately, this season we’re faced with challenges that will require a lot of advanced planning and open communication with your suppliers.
 
Even if products aren’t in short supply, logistical issues could add bottlenecks that delay shipments. You should discuss all your weed control options with your trusted advisor and have several plans in place to add flexibility to your strategy. In some cases, tillage may be an excellent option to help take pressure off herbicide applications. Consider all the tools at your disposal to help manage weeds this season.
 
Contact your local WinField® United retailer to talk through your weed control options this season.
 
All photos are either the property of WinField United or used with permission.

© 2022 WinField United. Important: Before use always read and follow label instructions. Crop performance is dependent on several factors many of which are beyond the control of WinField United, including without limitation, soil type, pest pressures, agronomic practices and weather conditions. Growers are encouraged to consider data from multiple locations, over multiple years and to be mindful of how such agronomic conditions could impact results. Dimetric and WinField are trademarks of WinField United. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.



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