• May 25, 2017

Eliminating Volunteer Corn Competition

Soybean Field
Year after year, I see volunteer corn popping up in soybean fields, ready to take a considerable bite out of yields. When left uncontrolled, this difficult weed competes with soybean plants for moisture, nutrients and sunlight, reducing bushels per acre while limiting bottom-line returns.
Volunteer corn can be difficult to control due to its rapid growth and the plant’s upright, waxy leaves. To reign in this tough weed, herbicide applications not only need to hit targeted weed leaves; they also must penetrate the waxy cuticle to enter the plant. Timely treatments using effective products will help you get the best return from every spray droplet and avoid costly retreatments.
Here are a few tips to help you achieve volunteer corn control and preserve soybean yields.
  1. Scout early. Because volunteer corn plants can get big and difficult to control very quickly, be sure to scout for this yield-robber along with other weeds and pests early in the season. By identifying volunteer corn plants when they’re small, you have time to add an effective grass herbicide to early postemergent tank mixes and protect soybean yield potential.
  2. Treat promptly. It’s much easier to control young, actively growing weeds than larger species with hardened cuticles. If treatment is delayed, hot, dry weather later in the season makes volunteer corn even more challenging to control.
  3. Choose the right herbicide.  Section® Three herbicide from WinField United provides fast, effective control of volunteer corn and other grassy weeds while offering a large application window. It is also a compatible tank mix partner with a wide range of herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and micronutrients for application flexibility.
  4. Include the right adjuvant. Grassy weed herbicides including Section® Three generally require the use of a high surfactant oil concentrate for effective control. WinField United recently introduced StrikeLock™ adjuvant for use with oil-loving herbicides. As part of the InterLock® family of adjuvants, the drift and deposition properties in StrikeLock™ help more herbicide reach targeted weeds and remain on leaf surfaces, while its high surfactant oil concentrate helps penetrate waxy cuticles for enhanced weed control.
  5. Match rates to weed size. Using the right rates of the herbicide and adjuvant is crucial for volunteer corn control. Note the size of the weed at the time of application and apply the corresponding herbicide and adjuvant rates listed on the product labels for optimum control.
  6. Maintain adequate spray coverage. Select the right spray tip and increase the gallons per acre to maximize coverage. Using a spray tip that delivers a medium- to coarse-size droplet will help spray coverage of volunteer corn. 
Because herbicide and adjuvant rates vary according to your conditions, contact your local agronomist for specific treatment recommendations.

Section and InterLock are registered trademarks, and StrikeLock is a trademark of Winfield Solutions, LLC.