If conventional corn is in this year’s crop plan, “start with an excellent pre-emerge herbicide with at least two active ingredients,” said Tim Stelter, Federated’s Osceola location manager. More than two active ingredients is even better.
“We don’t have an easy backup plan with conventional corn,” said Stelter, so it’s important to maximize the pre-emerge application. Federated recommends Acuron®, or Palace® plus atrazine for good grass and broadleaf control. But, nothing can be up out of the ground when the pre-emerge herbicide is applied. Stelter said, “It may be oversimplifying things to say this, but if the weeds are up, they aren’t going to die.” (Photo: 2019 conventional corn plot sprayed pre-emerge with Dual® + Atrazine + Callisto®.)
Plus, if fields need to be re-sprayed, the costs rise, and there is potential for negative crop response.
“We need to get a very good pre-emerge applied, on time, with a full rate, and with atrazine if possible,” said Stelter. (Of course, atrazine is subject to soil and rotation restrictions. Talk to your Federated Agronomist if you are concerned about that.)
If Federated will be doing the pre-emerge spraying, “call us as soon as the crop is planted,” said Kevin Carlson, Federated’s agronomy sales manager. “We will want to get it sprayed right away. We do a lot of post-emerge applications [with glyphosate], and that complicates our ability to spray conventional corn,” he said.
Stelter noted that fields with alfalfa in 2019 are not good candidates for conventional corn in 2020. “It’s hard to control the perennial weeds,” he said, and as such, growers should consider traited corn.
Talk to your Federated Agronomist about your weed control options in conventional corn, and plan now to get pre-emerge herbicides sprayed right after planting.