While Round-Up Ready® (RR) crops have dominated in recent years, conventional crops are still fairly popular due to their "lower prices and decent yields," said Kevin Johnson, Federated agronomist at the Osceola location. The catch, he noted, is the "need to have a solid chemical program in place" since, obviously, glyphosate isn't an option on conventional crops.
For a solid corn herbicide Johnson pointed to Acruon®, by Syngenta, which Federated recommends for both conventional and RR hybrids. Acuron has excellent control on tough weeds and "does a very good job on giant ragweed, with season-long control," he said. See this link for more information.
On the soybean side, the herbicide choices "can be a little bit more of a challenge," said Johnson. Starting off with a good pre-emerge, such as Enlite® (see this link), and then layering residuals in multiple applications is very important for soybeans. "Remember that in all conventional hybrids . . . if we lose control of weeds it's a lot harder to gain control, and the chemical programs start to cost more," he said.
Most importantly, on conventional crops the need for a herbicide program can't be stressed enough. There's no one-and-done option. Weed control takes more planned management when glyphosate is out of the picture (although even the glyphosate resistant crops require more weed management now, too).
Johnson noted two key aspects of weed control, on both conventional and RR crops: Scouting fields consistently throughout the growing season, and spraying when weeds are less than four inches high.
Your Federated Agronomist is ready to help determine the best weed management plans for your specific farm needs. Discuss your options before placing your seed and herbicide orders at year end.