A big bunch of farmers had gathered for “Fields of Opportunity”, the winter grower event of BASF held in Annawan. The event was addressed by Kurt Maertens, BASF technical services representative for western Illinois and Iowa.
Maertens said that there is a certainty for the herbicide-tolerant and herbicide-resistant weeds to march into the soybeans and cornfields of northern and central Illinois. He asked the farmers to be flexible without worrying, and mentioned that farmers should be able to adapt an effective herbicide program on their farm.
Speaking about the herbicide program for the weeds, Maertens stated –
There are three main weed species I get calls on, three species – marestail, waterhemp and giant ragweed. They are all broadleaves. One is a winter annual, the other is a small–seed broadleaf and the other is a large-seed broadleaf. If you try to use the same herbicide program to control all three, that’s usually difficult to do. We have got to use some different products and different timings to control these weeds.
One of the new varieties that have appeared is Palmer amaranth in glyphosate-resistant varieties and it is difficult to identify. Maertens shared some tips on its identification like the flower structure is sharp and spiky when touched.
Maertens also recommended four steps to control any weed- know your target weeds; use multiple, effective sites of action and use at least one site of action that’s a low risk for resistance; layer residuals; and be diligent in removing escapes, do not let weeds go to seed and spread seed into the soil.
He also emphasized on “site of action” and “mode of action”, and stated –
- Mode of action is how an herbicide would kill weeds
- Site of action is where in the plant the herbicide kills the weed.
Maertens said that the growers could stay ahead of troublesome weeds by making the required adjustments. He told the farmers that some of the water-hemps survive herbicide applications and these plants need to be eliminated. He said that they couldn’t be in denial of what’s going on around. He said to think about the fields and assume that the fields are talking to you. He said that you just have to listen to them and you have got to get to the right people and the right products out there in the market.