Across the central corn belt, most corn is at the critical growth stage of pollination (R1) to early blister (R2), while soybeans are at full bloom (R2) to early pod set (R3) stage of development. Both appear to have great yield potential at this time--and we can see this reflected in current crop prices!
It's Already Time to Think About Future Yields
In most corn belt fields, weed treatments in both corn and soybeans have nearly ended. But while yields this year appear strong, it’s also time to think about future years and how to continue fighting weeds that will pop up again and again. Palmer Amaranth and Waterhemp will continue to cause problems in many fields as the residual herbicides metabolize and become ineffective in controlling the weeds. These are the super weeds of the future.
Purdue University researchers have shown Palmer Amaranth to take yield down by 78% in soybeans and a whopping 91% in corn. It produces hundreds of thousands of seeds per plant and can grow rapidly when the season is in full swing. Waterhemp, from the same pigweed family as Palmer Amaranth, isn’t quite as yield destroying as its relative but frustrates growers due to its resistance to herbicides. And waterhemp can produce up to 1 million seeds from just one plant.
What Can You Do Now to Combat Future Challenges from Super Weeds?
Write down for future reference what controls used worked, as well as what did not work on your farms. Ask your neighbors the same questions of what worked or failed on their farms. We all need to work together to handle these weeds.