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Be Aggressive with Early Season Weed Management

Start With Weed Management

With the 2014 growing season just around the corner, now is the time to finalize important decisions that will directly impact your bottom line.


While there are many factors to consider when evaluating varieties and choosing inputs, weed science experts encourage growers to place effective weed management at the forefront. As growers consider which varieties and inputs are right for their fields, it’s important to reflect on the 2013 growing season.

On the left are soybeans with glyphosate-resistant weeds. On the right, LibertyLink® soybeans with weeds controlled with Liberty® herbicide plus residual program.

Observe Weed Trends

Proactive weed management is not only necessary, it can help growers keep their farms in production. The best way to preserve the effectiveness of weed control technologies is to ensure good control and eliminate weed seed production. It is important to be aggressive with early season weed management and the use of residual herbicides to avoid yield loss and weed escapes.

Effective weed management is becoming increasingly important as tough-to-control weed shifts impact more acres throughout the United States and herbicide-resistant weeds continue to spread. In a recent Stratus research study, 51 percent of U.S. growers reported one or more glyphosate-resistant weeds on their farm, up from 44 percent in 2012.BLBP Chart Acres infested with glyphosate-resistant weeds increased by 15 percent to 70 million acres or 27.5 percent of total crop land. 

For Joe Mencer of Lake Village, Ark., weed resistance management is a primary driver of his variety and herbicide choices.

“We planted LibertyLink soybeans because we're fighting resistant pigweeds, and we also have red rice that we're working on when we're out of rice. The LibertyLink trait works well on red rice, but it really works well on your broadleaves, your morningglories, your coffee bean and the resistant pigweed,” said Mencer. “We've been experiencing resistant pigweed for a number of years now. We went to the LibertyLink trait several years ago to try to change chemistries. We like the flexibility of the LibertyLink trait in there. It lets us fight resistant weeds.”

In addition to building a successful weed management program, Mencer has experienced high yields with his LibertyLink soybeans. He has averaged 80+ bushel yields on his 700 acres. Mencer said, “The LibertyLink soybeans outyielded glyphosate soybeans by 20 bushels across the farm. We had some of the highest yielding soybeans we've ever had in our life!”

Best Weed Management Practices

Proper stewardship of Liberty herbicide is necessary to ensure the long-term sustainability of LibertyLink technology. Rotating crops, traits and modes of action allows for diversity within a herbicide program and sustains the longevity of any given herbicide chemistry. Use cultural, mechanical and chemical weed control methods as necessary to ensure weeds do not produce viable seed and to prevent weed escapes from going to seed and depositing in the seed bank. Multiple practices to manage tough-to-control weeds are essential, as no single strategy is totally effective.

Recommendations for Weed Management in LibertyLink Soybeans

Recommendations for Weed Management in LibertyLink Corn

Recommendations for Weed Management in LibertyLink Corn

Start Clean: Start with a clean, weed-free field by using an effective burndown application or conventional tillage.

Stay Clean: In the field, this means starting the season with a residual product and using multiple effective modes of action during the year and from year-to-year. The more diverse the weed management program, the better the stewardship for all available weed control products. Residual herbicides applied at burndown, pre-emergence and/or tankmixed in the first post application help ensure optimal weed management, particularly if environmental conditions delay timely post applications. Apply a broad-spectrum pre-emergence or PPI residual herbicide. Consider expected weed species and populations, as well as environmental variables in the area, when selecting a residual herbicide.

For more information on specific recommendations, see the 2014 Trait and Technology Use Manual.

Use the LibertyLink System as Part of an Integrated Weed Management Program

Weeds steal yield from even the best varieties, so it is important to consider weed control, as well as yield, when making purchase decisions. The LibertyLink system pairs high-yielding varieties with the powerful weed control of Liberty herbicide for unsurpassed performance of not only everyday weeds, but also the hard-to-control weeds that glyphosate won’t control. When you pair high-performance seeds with the strongest weed management system available, that’s when you can truly achieve your full yield potential.

  • In soybeans, LibertyLink is available through more than 100 seed companies, enabling you to manage weed pressures with the varieties that fit your growing conditions.
  • LibertyLink corn hybrids are available in elite genetics for top yields, including all Herculex®, SmartStax® and Agrisure® hybrids with corn borer protection, as well as in-bag refuge products in Genuity® SmartStax RIB Complete®, Refuge Advanced® powered by SmartStax and Optimum® AcreMax® RW (AMRW), Optimum AcreMax XTRA (AMX), Optimum AcreMax 1 (AM1) and Optimum AcreMax Xtreme (AMXT)*.

This growing season, control weeds and push the yield potential of high-performing varieties with the LibertyLink plus Liberty herbicide system.


* Not all Optimum AcreMax products may be sprayed with Liberty in-crop, indicated by the label designations ending in -R, e.g., AMRW-R, AM-R and AMX-R.

Herculex and Refuge Advanced are trademarks of Dow AgroSciences LLC.  Genuity, RIB Complete and SmartStax are trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC.  AcreMax and Optimum are trademarks of Pioneer Hi-Bred.  Agrisure is a trademark of a Syngenta Group Company.

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