Controlling weeds after cover crops: Iowa farmer has it covered
Billy Baudler is looking for options to improve weed control. One of his needs is a postemergence soybean herbicide that will kill cover crops.
Baudler farms with his father, Steve, in central Iowa. In addition to hay, they grow corn and soybeans, using cover crops on about 1,000 acres. Baudler likes to plant soybeans into a cover crop – usually cereal rye or winter wheat – and wait two or three weeks before killing the cover crop. He would like to keep the cover crop growing in the field long enough to act as a virtual residual application. Then he can come back with effective postemergence herbicides.
On ground without a cover crop, Baudler usually applies a burndown application and uses a sulfentrazone product for residual activity. He wants to keep troublesome weeds at bay until he can make a postemergence application. The farm is facing substantial pressure from waterhemp and, more recently, marestail.
“The marestail has been coming on in the last couple of years,” Baudler says. “The Enlist Duo herbicide application has taken care of most of our weeds except some marestail we let get 12 to 16 inches tall.”
In addition to trying Enlist E3® soybeans this year, Baudler has been growing LibertyLink® soybeans. Using glufosinate postemergence has been working well, and he expects Enlist™ herbicides to do the same for his Enlist E3 soybeans. The advantage he gains with Enlist E3 soybeans is the ability to build on glufosinate tolerance, allowing him to come back with glufosinate in addition to 2,4-D choline for another mode of action.
“Enlist offers another good option,” he says. “I can apply an Enlist herbicide postemergence and, if I have to, come back later with glufosinate. I want to get away from relying on glyphosate every year in every field.”
Baudler is aware of the need to keep herbicide applications on target. He says some postemergence products can move and damage soybeans. He’s happy with what he sees from Enlist herbicides.
“I sprayed Enlist Duo when it was hot and haven’t noticed any movement,” Baudler says. He notes some products in other herbicide trait systems can move and hurt surrounding soybeans. He says he’s more comfortable with Enlist herbicides.
“I think my neighbors will be interested in Enlist E3 soybeans and Enlist herbicides,” Baudler says. “I think this system will be valuable.”