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Posted 28 January 2015. PMN Crop News.


Weed Out the Competition


Source: United Soybean Board Press Release. www.unitedsoybean.org


Chesterfield, Missouri (January 7, 2015)--Every season, in every field, your soybeans go to battle against weeds. They fight for water, sunlight and nutrients. According to Anita Dille, Ph.D., professor of weed ecology at Kansas State University, it’s a battle you need your soybeans to win to achieve higher yields.

 

Dille is compiling a state-by-state analysis of yield loss from lack of weed control. Early findings from nearly 100 research plots from 2007 through 2013 show that soybean fields with good weed control averaged double the yields of weedy plots.

On battlefields across the countryside, it’s no secret that many weeds have herbicide resistance working in their favor. Your soybeans also have you and your ability to make weed-management decisions that protect your yield now and in the future.

“Farmers have more to gain or lose than anybody in the fight against herbicide resistance,” says Harold Coble, a farmer and weed scientist with a long history working for North Carolina State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Modern weed-management practices have allowed us to pay less attention to details for a while, but we’re paying for that now,” Coble says. “We really need to pay attention to post-treatment monitoring. We can’t just spray our herbicides and then go fishing and assume everything is going to work 100 percent anymore.” Coble urges farmers to actively monitor, document and manage weeds that survive herbicide applications.

Coble also challenges all farmers to select unbiased information sources for learning and decision making on weed-management programs. “Farmers have to act now, starting by learning more about what causes resistance and what can be done to manage it.”

To successfully compete against weeds, Coble advises you to take a long-term view of your weed-management approach and the sustainability of your farming operation.

“If you ask a guy who’s farming today, what do you plan to be doing five or 10 years from now, he’s virtually always going to say ‘farming,’” Coble says. “If we’re going to be farming in the future, we’ve got to think about it more than one year at a time.”