Midwest farmers brace for heightened struggle with weeds in 2016

Palmer amaranth, a persistent weed problem in the South, has found a new home in the Illinois.
Palmer amaranth, a persistent weed problem in the South, has found a new home in the Illinois. | File photo

Heavy weed pressure is expected for the 2016 growing season following heavy rainfall in the Midwest last year that delayed herbicide applications and caused weed seeds to spread to new areas because of flooding.

Palmer amaranth, a persistent weed problem in the South, has found a new home in the Illinois, according to University of Illinois Extension studies. As a result of the extensive rainfall, Syngenta expects waterhemp and marestail weeds to also be a problem for soybeans.

“You have to start clean. You cannot go out and plant into a field that has any live weeds in it anymore,” Phil Krieg, Syngenta's agronomic service representative, said. “You have to get rid of those in a burndown application. Secondly, you have to get good residual products applied to the soil that have effective multiple modes of action for the specific weeds that you’re trying to control.”

Three products offered by Syngenta can help weed control, especially if farmers start their weed control program early. The BroadAxe XC and Boundary 6.5 EC herbicides are specifically designed for pre-emergent, long last residual weed control. 

The herbicide Flexstar GT 3.5 can follow up the pre-emergent herbicides to combat weeds resistant to glyphosate and ALS inhibitors.

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Syngenta Basel, Switzerland

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