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Fine-Tuning Your Soybean Game Plan

Do you want to pump up your soybean game plan like world record soybean yield title holder Alex Harrell? Consider these tips from DEKALB® Asgrow® Technical Agronomist Lance Tarochione to fine-tune your herbicide, fertility, fungicide and insecticide programs.

Herbicide Program Tips

Controlling weeds in soybeans is more difficult than it once was due to herbicide resistance, label restrictions and difficult-to-control weeds. A multipronged approach that focuses more on weed management, rather than simply controlling the weeds, is required to help achieve consistent, long-term success.

For no-till systems, starting with a fall burndown program is encouraged. For all tillage systems, layered residuals are required to help alleviate the pressure we put on our post-emerge products. The potential benefits of including dicamba, such as XtendiMax® herbicide with VaporGrip® Technology, a restricted use herbicide, in your pre-emergence application can easily be seen. The benefits of dicamba as a residual are particularly evident in dry conditions without timely rains to activate primary residual products.

It’s very important to start clean and spray early. The easiest weed to control is the weed that never emerges. For systems targeting small weeds, timely, earlier applications of post-emerge products can produce increased opportunity for consistent results. Asgrow® XtendFlex® products, coupled with Roundup Ready® Xtend Technology, provide farmers the latest in weed control ease and flexibility from added tolerance to glufosinate. Preventing as many weeds from emerging as possible with pre-emergent products is key.

Consider scouting fields about 10 days after your first post-emergence application to evaluate efficacy. Climate FieldView™ can be utilized to map applications, as well as drop scouting pins. If weed escapes are evident, it’s better to know early, rather than in late June or July, before weeds are too big to control and soybeans are past the R1 growth stage, which is the application cutoff for 2,4-D, glufosinate and dicamba.

In addition to choosing Asgrow® brand soybeans with exclusive genetics, world record soybean yield title holder Alex Harrell optimized his soybean game plan and utilized Roundup PowerMAX® 3 herbicide as a burndown. He also used XtendiMax® herbicide with VaporGrip® Technology, a restricted use herbicide, with Roundup PowerMAX 3 herbicide for a post-emerge application.

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Harrell’s record-setting soybean performance is based on the right combination of planning, products and timing. He believes using this combination of the two herbicides makes it easy and covers both broadleaf weeds and grasses.

Harrell also uses Climate FieldView to map plots, track products planted and product performance, and map activities, such as herbicide and fertility applications.

Fertility Program Tips

When thinking about your soybean fertility program, consider annual fertility applications over the traditional approach of a two-year spread ahead of corn. Begin by evaluating pH levels and maintain a soil pH level in the low to mid-6s. Test soil regularly to understand what it can supply to the growing crop. Consider incorporating tissue tests into your plan to ensure plants can absorb enough nutrients for optimum yields. Pay attention to the base saturation percentage on potassium to ensure plant-available potassium is present. Also be mindful of phosphorus and sulfur in your soybean fertility programs. It is important to focus on the basics and fine-tune them before experimenting with foliar nutrient applications. Keep in mind, plants are designed to absorb nutrients through their roots. When evaluating micronutrient needs, remember these are essential for plant growth, but micros are needed in smaller quantities than macronutrients. Tissue tests are the best way to evaluate potential need for micros.

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As Harrell also recognizes, soybeans like and need fertility just as much as corn. Late-season management is a very key part of his game plan. Harrell advises to keep nutrient levels where they need to be according to tissue test results.

Fungicide + Insecticide Program Tips

When planting soybeans early and fine-tuning your game plan, it’s very important to apply seed treatments, such as Acceleron® Seed Applied Solutions, to protect yield potential and reduce severity of SDS (sudden death syndrome). Harrell uses Acceleron products on 90% of his soybeans.

An additional key consideration in optimizing your soybean game plan is applying post-emergence fungicides and insecticides for improved plant health, as well as disease and insect management. Harrell believes in being proactive, not reactive, when it comes to fungicide applications and recommends a minimum of two preventative applications regardless of where your farm is located.

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Foliar fungicide applications can reduce plant stress and help manage foliar fungal disease. If white mold is a problem in your field, applying an early R1-R2 fungicide can have benefits. If your goal is general plant health benefits and overall foliar disease management, the traditional R3 timing is recommended. For maximum yield performance potential, consider more than one post-emergence fungicide and insecticide application. Not all fungicides have the same level of efficacy for all diseases. The fungicide you choose does matter, especially on diseases such as white mold and resistant frogeye leaf spot. Delaro® Complete fungicide can help you get the edge you’re looking for with a broad spectrum of disease control and three modes of action.

For more information, contact your local DEKALB Asgrow dealer or visit the official Asgrow site.

Bayer is a member of Excellence Through Stewardship® (ETS). Bayer products are commercialized in accordance with ETS Product Launch Stewardship Guidance, and in compliance with Bayer’s Policy for Commercialization of Biotechnology-Derived Plant Products in Commodity Crops. Commercialized products have been approved for import into key export markets with functioning regulatory systems. Any crop or material produced from this product can only be exported to, or used, processed or sold in countries where all necessary regulatory approvals have been granted. It is a violation of national and international law to move material containing biotech traits across boundaries into nations where import is not permitted. Growers should talk to their grain handler or product purchaser to confirm their buying position for this product. Excellence Through Stewardship® is a registered trademark of Excellence Through Stewardship.

XtendiMax® herbicide with VaporGrip® Technology is a restricted use pesticide and must be used with VaporGrip® Xtra Agent (or an equivalent volatility reduction adjuvant). For approved tank-mix products (including VRAs and DRAs), nozzles and other important label information visit XtendiMaxApplicationRequirements.com. Applicators must check XtendiMaxApplicationRequirements.com no more than 7 days before application of this product for additional labeling, including state restrictions. Where applicable, users must comply with additional requirements found on this website.


It is a violation of federal and state law to use any pesticide product other than in accordance with its labeling. NOT ALL formulations of dicamba or glyphosate are approved for in-crop use with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans. ONLY USE FORMULATIONS THAT ARE SPECIFICALLY LABELED FOR SUCH USES AND APPROVED FOR SUCH USE IN THE STATE OF APPLICATION. Contact the U.S. EPA and your state pesticide regulatory agency with any questions about the approval status of dicamba herbicide products for in-crop use with products with XtendFlex® Technology.