What a difference a year makes! With nearly 90 percent of the corn planted in Illinois, saying spring is off to a fast start is an understatement. As we look at the next few months, it will be important to identify some potential road blocks.
Just over six months ago, prognosticators were predicting 92 million acres of corn. Many today think planted corn acres will be closer to 96 million. If this happens, it’s a significant increase in corn acres and the largest number planted since 1937.
It’s an exciting time as we continue to enjoy favorable commodity prices. Yet, the increase in corn acres, coupled with early planting, will pose significant challenges in developing a season-long weed management system.
What has the increase in corn acres done to herbicide supply? According to the National Agriculture Statistics Service, atrazine is still the No. 1 corn herbicide used, with 66 percent of corn acres receiving an application. One significant change over the last 10 years has been the use of glyphosate, with more than 30 percent of corn acres treated (in case you were wondering, it’s more than 90 percent for soybeans).
It will be important to visit with your local FS crop specialist to make sure your corn post herbicide is available or recommend a replacement option for the 2012 growing season.
With glyphosate (Roundup, Touchdown, and many generics) being the No. 1 product used in soybeans and No. 2 offering in corn, it’s important to understand the global impact of this chemistry. Since the adoption of glyphosate-resistant soybeans, the price of glyphosate has changed significantly over the last 15 years.
We have increased the rate applied per acre to increase weed control and again have used a number of products during the same time period.
The glyphosate market is global and in the next couple of years many of the major manufacturers will be launching new technologies that use glyphosate as the standard while introducing new chemistries either as a premix to glyphosate or a stand-alone product.
Even though the cost per acre of glyphosate is the lowest it has been in the last 15 years, your local FS crop specialist continues to recommend the use of soil applied herbicides to manage and mitigate weed resistance. It will be important to continue to implement your current weed management strategies when these new technologies become available.
-- Jeff Bunting is GROWMARK’s crop protection marketing manager. He e-mail address is email@example.com