Author

Wade Givens, Ph.D.

Wade Givens, Ph.D.

Wade earned his Ph.D. in Weed Science from Mississippi State University and has worked for two decades in the ag industry in both commercial and agronomy roles. He previously worked as a technical sales coordinator, helping direct research and new strategies for internal product development.


Jun 23, 2020

by Wade Givens, Ph.D.

Spraying is a vital component to each cropping season. Whether you’re feeding foliar nutrition or managing pest pressure, effective spray applications are key to protecting yields your operation’s return on investment. There was a time when spraying was reserved for custom applicators. But in today’s ag environment, more and more farmers are choosing to spray their own crops in order to save on costs and make more timely applications when their crops need it. Key considerations for spraying this summer Planning for and executing your own spray application requires a unique set of skills and knowledge. There are many decisions—timing, rates, branded chem versus generic, tank mix or premix, which adjuvants to use—you must evaluate to get the most out of each spray.  Let’s focus on three things to consider as you prepare to spray in your fields this summer: 1. Weed Presence The type and size of weed growing in the field will guide your choice of herbicide and mode of action, but it will also determine the type of spray you’ll want to use.  Many broadleaf weeds—with larger, more horizontal surfaces—are well suited for larger, coarser sprays. Meanwhile grasses and young broadleaf weeds need finer sprays for effective control.  Remember, it’s easier to control smaller weeds than larger ones, so staying on top of weed pressure in your fields is important. Always read and follow label directions to ensure you’re making the right decisions for your selected herbicide.  2. Crop Stage A crop’s stage of development impacts your timing for herbicide, insecticide and fungicide applications. In corn and soybeans, these limits can be by growth stage, height of crop or harvest interval required.  Be sure you know these specifications for any and all chemicals you’re going to use on your crops and do some field scouting to determine when is the optimal time to spray.  3. Weather Temperature can play a significant role in how successful your spray application will be. Hot, dry weather can cause weeds to close their stomata and to slow down their processes, making it harder for herbicides to do their work.  If you’re experiencing these conditions on your farm, here are some warm-weather spraying tips: Using the high end of labelled rates of translocated herbicides can help offset thicker cuticles and low rates of translocation.  Including the full rate of ammonium sulfate (AMS) in your tank mix can help maximize glyphosate uptake by target weeds. Adding a surfactant per label instructions can be a good way to improve the efficacy of herbicides in warm weather, especially in weeds with thick cuticles.  You can also consider using a surfactant, such as Methylated Seed Oil (MSO) and/or Crop Oil Concentrate (COC), when using a PPO herbicide in warm weather. Be advised that tank mixes containing COC can lead to enhanced crop injury when applied under hotter conditions. If a Non-Ionic Surfactant (NIS) is an option, consider using this instead. Refer to your herbicide labels for more details and options. Get the most out of your next spray application Need help spraying your fields this summer? Grab a free copy of our Spraying Application Guide for the DIY Farmer and refresh yourself on some of the basics before you set foot in your sprayer. Copyright © 2014 - 2020 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights reserved. The sprout logo, "FBN" and "Farmers Business Network" are registered service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. FBN Direct Services are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LLC is licensed. FBN Direct is a service mark of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. Herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, adjuvants, and biostimulants can be ordered online and via mobile app. Please contact an FBN Sales representative for fertilizer and seed orders. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. It is a violation of federal and state/provincial law to use any pesticide product other than in accordance with its label. The distribution, sale and use of an unregistered pesticide is a violation of federal and/or state law and is strictly prohibited. We do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided on this page or which is provided by us in any form. It is your responsibility to confirm prior to purchase and use that a product is labeled for your specific purposes, including, but not limited to, your target crop or pest and its compatibility with other products in a tank mix.


May 28, 2020

by Wade Givens, Ph.D.

Whether we’re talking about corn, beans, cotton or any other crop you might have put out this year, plants are designed to grow. They innately know how to take in water, nutrients and sunlight and take the next steps to reproduce.  But if you’re spending money on inputs to help your crops reach their yield potential, don’t you want to make sure you are getting the most out of everything you put down?  You also want to minimize the impact of stressors—such as drought, flooding or pest pressure—the best ways you can. It’s for these reasons that biostimulants can be such an appealing addition to your input lineup. What are biostimulants? Agricultural biostimulants are biological substances or microorganisms that stimulate a plant’s natural systems to improve its overall health and productivity. This can translate to improvements to nutrient uptake and use efficiency, stress tolerance or overall crop yield. They can be applied to seeds, plants or to soil in the root zone, so that the plant has easy access to the biologicals and microorganisms it craves. They stimulate the plant’s growth and development processes and, in some cases, its natural defense systems.  Biostimulants are pesticides and differ from traditional fertilizers. They simply help the plant do what it already knows how to do more efficiently. Biostimulants fall into a variety of categories, including:  Biochemical materials  Bacterial/ microbial inoculants Biopolymers Humic and fulvic acids Inorganic compounds Protein hydrolysates Seaweed and plant extracts The EPA does not currently regulate biostimulants. But as this segment of the ag industry continues to grow, there’s a good chance this will change. Product Spotlight: ATARRUS™ 8-0-0 members can take advantage of exclusive access to deals on ATARRUS™ 8-0-0 , a biostimulant classified as a protein hydrolysate and derived completely from plant-based materials.  As a liquid fertilizer, ATARRUS can be used for soil or foliar application and uses peptides and signalling promoters that help crops withstand weather, nutritional, environmental and chemical-related stress factors.    ATARRUS is designed to enhance established crop nutrition programs, formulated for rapid absorption to improve nutrient uptake and reduce the effect of a variety of stressors. The polypeptides in ATARRUS have the potential to positively affect plant vigor and health, yield and crop quality. 1 In on-farm trials, ATARRUS has produced a positive net return 75 percent of the time for corn (+$17.00 average net revenue per acre) and soybeans (+$26.50 average net revenue per acre). 2 Find the right inputs for your operation with You can double down on savings and convenience when you shop for biostimulants—in addition to fertilizers and all your crop protection needs — on . Simply buy the products you need online and get them shipped directly to your farm. It’s just one of many different ways we’re making farming better .


Apr 28, 2020

by Wade Givens, Ph.D.

With many farmers still feeling the effects of cold, wet weather, it has been a challenging spring for planting corn thus far across much of the U.S. Because the growing point of corn is below ground from planting all the way to V4 or V5, soil temperature and frost-free days are important guides for deciding when to plant corn. How does early-season frost affect your corn crop? Most farmers are quite familiar with above-ground frost damage, which can be observed in yellow leaves, a translucent grey appearance or some purple flash in the plant. When the seed is below ground, however, one of the most common cold weather issues is imbibitional chilling injury. This happens when corn has been in the ground 24-36 hours and temperatures have been in the range of 41-50 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’ve experienced these conditions in your region post-planting and they’re followed by some wet weather, get in the field and see if you find seeds that have swollen and split.  For corn seed that has germinated, this kind of injury can cause severe damage to the developing root while it’s trying to develop structure. You can also look at the monocotyl, as this frost injury can cause the leaf to unfurl under the soil and rot. While patience is tough as we approach what feels like the end of the optimal corn planting window, wait three to five days, look for new growth, then check your corn by gently pulling the top leaves. If they come out easily, it’s a good indication that the growing point has died. This is the time to start considering possible stand loss and its impact on yield.  When is the ideal time to plant corn? We all know how hard it is to wait—especially in a year like this one, where everyone is ready to get going in their fields. Across much of the U.S., however, even corn planted in the May 8-9 range can still reach 95 to 98 percent of its full yield potential.  There’s a lot of great information out there on planting date, stand loss due to frost and the impacts on yield, including this analysis from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. As an member, you can also call or text (605) 223-4224 to chat with a member of our Agronomy team. Take care of your pre-season and in-season management needs with You can’t control the weather. But for pest pressure and other needs that arise related to the health of your crop, there’s . Simply buy the crop protection products you need online and get them shipped directly to your farm—or schedule free pick-up at your local Hub . It’s just one of many different ways we’re making farming better .


Apr 08, 2020

by Wade Givens, Ph.D.

is an excellent motto to live by when farming. But how do you translate those words into action as planting season approaches? You know all too well that the weed management decisions you make just before and at planting are going to have a significant impact on your yield potential come harvest. Weather and pest pressure will continue to influence the health of your crop throughout the season, to be sure, but your biggest window of opportunity for weed control starts to close the moment the planter rolls out of your fields. A successful burndown sets the stage for year-long weed control A good foundation for your burndown application includes a non-selective herbicide ( glyphosate or glufosinate , for example) as well as an auxin (such as dicamba or 2,4-D ). Depending on your location, cropping plan and the weather in your recent forecast, there may be other chemistries that you want to use on your farm as well. Here are a few potential burndown programs for corn, soybeans and cotton worth considering this spring:  Corn Start your corn burndown with glyphosate and dicamba or 2,4-D , plus a paraquat product. Some other common additions include atrazine ( Corvus® , for example, or Lexar® , which also contains mesotrione and metolachlor ).  Soybeans A burndown ahead of soybeans often includes a glyphosate or 2,4-D base. You may want to add a saflufenacil product ( Sharpen® or Verdict® , for example) as well as metribuzin . Another option could be a glyphosate and 2,4-D combination with the addition of paraquat .   Cotton A common burndown for cotton includes glyphosate and paraquat , with Cotoran® or Caparol® coming behind the planter.  Running into some nasty marestail/horseweed? You might want to substitute glufosinate for glyphosate in your burndown to get you the best overall control. As an member, you can also speak with one of our senior agronomists when exploring chemistries and management strategies for your farm and fields. Simply call (605) 223-4224 to chat with a member of our team. Take care of your pre-season and in-season management needs with You can double down on savings convenience when you shop for ag chemicals on . Simply buy the crop protection products you need online and get them shipped directly to your farm—or schedule free pick-up at your local Hub . It’s just one of many different ways we’re making farming better . Sharpen® powered by Kixor® and Verdict® powered by Kixor® are registered trademarks of BASF Ag Products. Corvus® is a registered trademarks of Bayer CropScience. Caparol® and Lexar® are registered trademarks of Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC. Cotoran® is a registered trademark of ADAMA. Copyright © 2014 - 2020 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights reserved. The sprout logo, "FBN" and "Farmers Business Network" are registered service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. FBN Direct Services are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LLC is licensed. FBN Direct is a service mark of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. Herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, adjuvants, and biostimulants can be ordered online and via mobile app. Please contact an FBN Sales representative for fertilizer and seed orders. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. It is a violation of federal and state/provincial law to use any pesticide product other than in accordance with its label. The distribution, sale and use of an unregistered pesticide is a violation of federal and/or state law and is strictly prohibited. We do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided on this page or which is provided by us in any form. It is your responsibility to confirm prior to purchase and use that a product is labeled for your specific purposes, including, but not limited to, your target crop or pest and its compatibility with other products in a tank mix.


Nov 18, 2019

by Wade Givens, Ph.D.

Having explored resistance issues with waterhemp and Palmer amaranth , let's turn our attention to discuss some control options for soybean in fields where resistance has been observed. Weed control options in soybeans Palmer amaranth and waterhemp have an amazing ability to develop resistance to herbicides. Those have exhibited resistance to herbicide groups: Groups 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 14, 15 and 27. But that doesn’t mean farmers are out of options to combat these pests. By taking advantage of multiple modes of action, along with crop and chemistry rotation, these difficult to control species can be effectively managed. There are very few cases of resistance to all the listed herbicide groups mentioned.   Here are some suggested herbicide options for common soybean cropping systems:  Conventional Soybean 2,4-D, glyphosate or glufosinate + paraquat 1,4 Authority ® Elite, Fierce ® , Envive ® , Sharpen ® , Sonic ® , Surveil ® ,  Valor ® SX, Valor ® XLT, or Verdict ® + Group 15 herbicide 5 2,4 Boundary ® , Authority ® MTZ, Canopy ® , or metribuzin + Group 15 herbicide 5 Cobra ® , fomesafen, or Ultra Blazer ® + Group 15 herbicide 5 3 Dicamba Glyphosate-tolerant Soybean 2,4-D, glyphosate or glufosinate + paraquat 1,4 Authority ® Elite, Fierce ® , Envive ® , Sharpen ® , Sonic ® , Surveil ® ,  Valor ® SX, Valor ® XLT, or Verdict ® + Group 15 herbicide 5 2,4 Boundary ® , Authority ® MTZ, Canopy ® , or metribuzin + Group 15 herbicide 5 Glyphosate + fomesafen + Group 15 herbicide 5 3 Glyphosate + Cobra ®  or Ultra Blazer ® LibertyLink ® -tolerant Soybean 2,4-D, glyphosate or glufosinate + paraquat 1,4 Authority ® Elite, Fierce ® , Envive ® , Sharpen ® , Sonic ® , Surveil ® ,  Valor ® SX, Valor ® XLT, or Verdict ® + Group 15 herbicide 5 2,4 Boundary ® , Authority ® MTZ, Canopy ® , or metribuzin + Group 15 herbicide 5 Liberty ® 280 + fomesafen + Group 15 herbicide 2 3 Liberty ® 280 Enlist E3™ Soybean 5 Enlist Duo™ + paraquat 1,4 Enlist Duo™ + Authority Elite, Fierce ® , Envive ® , Sharpen ® , Sonic ® , Surveil ® , Valor ® SX, Valor ® XLT, or Verdict ® + Group 15 herbicide 2 2,4 Boundary ® , Authority ® MTZ, Canopy ® , or metribuzin + Group 15 herbicide 5 Enlist Duo™ + Group 15 herbicide 2 3 Enlist Duo™ ® 6 XtendiMax ® + glyphosate or glufosinate + Paraquat 1,4 XtendiMax ®  + Authority ® Elite, Fierce ® , Envive ® , Sharpen ® , Sonic ® , Surveil ® , Valor ® SX, Valor ® XLT, or Verdict ® + Group 15 herbicide 2 2,4 Boundary ® , Authority ® MTZ, Canopy ® , or metribuzin + Group 15 herbicide 5 XtendiMax ® + glyphosate + Group 15 herbicide 2 3 XtendiMax ® + glyphosate What to consider when developing your management plan Keep in mind that your management plan should be developed for your specific weed pressures and any resistance issues present. Even when you observe herbicide resistance, remember that there is little chance that your particular weed will be resistant to all the mentioned groups. These herbicides continue to be important control options for many of the weeds we have in the U.S. What is important is that you rotate your chemistries and crops to most effectively deal with these difficult to control species. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL INSTRUCTIONS. These chemical tables are not specific recommendations that apply to all fields. There is no expressed or implied guarantee of performance from any product listed above. And, as always, consult your trusted agronomist to design the best herbicide plan for your operation and talk to your account executive about adjuvant options to maximize weed control. Scout your fields with greater insights Scouting your fields can give you a good idea of what pressures you're dealing with. You can up your scouting game utilizing precision maps and data specific to your farm and fields. Download our Precision Mapping Guide to find out how.    


Nov 15, 2019

by Wade Givens, Ph.D.

As harvest leads to preparing for the following year, brushing up on what it takes to keep weeds from putting a damper on your next crop is always a good idea. Waterhemp and Palmer amaranth are two significant pests for which you should be keeping an eye out.   Why do these weeds keep popping up in the resistance discussion? Both waterhemp and Palmer amaranth belong to a special group of the genus, which are dioecious -- meaning male and female flowers grow on separate plants. For successful reproduction, pollen must transfer from the male plants to female plants. Because of this, genetic diversity within these two species tends to be greater than that of most agronomic weeds. This increases the potential for evolving and spreading herbicide resistance genes and other traits that improve survival. Confirmed herbicide resistance These two plant species have an amazing ability to adapt and develop resistance to herbicides. To date, both have confirmed resistance to herbicide groups: Group 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 14, 15 and 27.  Here is a quick summary of these herbicide groups and some examples of products they include: Includes products such as Accent ® Q, components of Authority ® Assist and Authority ® First, Beacon ® , Classic ® , components of Clearpath ® , components of Fierce ® , FirstRate ® , Londax ® , Newpath ® , Permit ® , Pursuit ® , Scepter ® , Staple ® , Synchrony®, and components of Valor ® XLT Includes products such as Prowl ® H2O and Treflan ® Includes products such as 2,4-D, Banvel ® , Clarity ® , components of Clearpath ® , Engenia ® , components of Enlist Duo ® , Enlist One ®  and Facet ® Includes products such as atrazine, components of Authority ® MTZ, components of Bicep II Magnum ® , components of Boundary ® , Caparol ® , components of Harness ® Xtra and metribuzin Includes all glyphosate products Includes products such as Aim ® , components of the Authority ® family of herbicides, Cobra ® , Envive ® , components of Fierce ® , Flexstar ® , components of Gangster®, Reflex®, Sharpan ® , Spartan ®  and Valor ® Includes products such as Dual Magnum ® (s-metolachlor), Harness ® , Warrant ® , Degree ® , Surpass ® (acetochlor), Zidua ® (pyroxasulfone) and Outlook ® (dimethenamid-p) Includes products such as Balance Flexx ® , Callisto ® , components of Halex ® GT, Laudis ® , components of Lexar ® EZ and components of Realm Q ® What to consider when developing a management plan Although waterhemp and Palmer amaranth have shown resistance to multiple herbicide groups, it is important to remember that there are few, if any, cases that have resistance to all the listed herbicide groups in this article. These herbicide groups are still important options to control the weed pests that we have in agronomic crops in the U.S. What is important is that you rotate your chemistries and crops to most effectively deal with these difficult to control species. As always, consult with your trusted agronomist to design the best herbicide plan for your operation and talk to your account executive about adjuvant options to maximize weed control. We'll discuss crop-specific strategies for dealing with waterhemp and Palmer amaranth when growing corn, soybeans and cotton in future posts on Emergence. Scout your fields with greater insights Scouting your fields can give you a good idea of what pressures you're dealing with. You can up your scouting game utilizing precision maps and data specific to your farm and fields. Download our Precision Mapping Guide to find out how.


Oct 04, 2019

by Wade Givens, Ph.D.

Soybean harvest might be a bit more challenging for farmers this fall. For one, record-breaking rainfall and prolonged flooding in the spring kept many farmers out of their fields until much later, leading to a later harvest. Second, spot planting and planting behind receding flood waters will impact how uniform your soybean plants will drop their leaves and be ready for harvest. If you’re concerned about timeline and protecting your yield, this might be a good year to use a desiccant to help prep your soybean crop for harvest activities. Three desiccant options for soybean fields You have several choices when selecting a desiccant application. Here are some products (and recommended application rates) labeled for use as a harvest aid in your fields: Paraquat activates desiccation of both weeds and soybean plants. The preferred application rate is 0.25 lb ai/acre, and you should include a nonionic surfactant (0.25 percent V/V) with the application. For paraquat, a 15-day preharvest interval is required. Broadleaf weeds and soybean plants will experience desiccation when saflufenacil is applied. The addition of a methylated seed oil (one percent V/V) plus ammonium sulfate (one-two percent W/V) is recommended for optimal desiccation. Application rates of 1.5-2 fl oz/acre are generally required when saflufenacil is applied alone. This product has a three-day preharvest interval. Sodium chlorate will provide desiccation of weeds and soybean plants, but activity level from this application will depend on environmental conditions. As a true desiccant, sodium chlorate will physically draw moisture out of plant tissue and seed and should be applied 7-10 days before harvest. You’ll want to factor the specified preharvest interval for the desiccant you select into your timeline. In addition, a greater application volume (20-30 GPA for ground applications and 4-10 GPA for air applications) is recommended when making a harvest aid application in soybean fields, as complete coverage is essential. Things to consider before applying a desiccant Before you apply a harvest aid in your fields, check the forecast in your region. Weather may influence the time required for proper desiccation, and wet field conditions can delay harvest activities altogether.  It’s also important to pay attention to the stage of your soybean crop. The more green material you see, the longer you’ll need to wait for your crop to reach full desiccation and be harvest ready (Pro tip: Focus on the color of the pods rather than the leaf color of your soybean plants for an accurate assessment). Apply the desiccant when your soybean crop is mature enough so that the seed isn’t affected by premature termination. Your seed pods should be brown in color, or at least turning yellow. Once the majority of the pods in the field are mature (with the remaining pods having seed completely separated from the pod wall), it is safe to apply a harvest aid.   With indeterminate soybeans, your plants should be “mature and ready for harvest” according to the sodium chlorate label, or “when 65 percent of pods are mature brown color or when seed moisture is 30 percent or less” per the paraquat label.  Know the limits of a desiccant A harvest aid will not change the maturity of the crop, it only enhances dry down in a mostly mature field of soybeans.  If a desiccant is sprayed when pods are too young (i.e., green pods, seed are not full-sized and are not separating easily from the pod wall), seed will not mature normally and often show up as “butter beans” and damaged seed at harvest. Looking for a specific soybean desiccant product? With Direct, you can purchase product online and and get it delivered straight to your farm.  https://www.mississippi-crops.com/2019/08/31/soybean-harvest-aid-considerations-for-2019/ http://news.utcrops.com/2019/09/some-considerations-for-soybean-harvest-aids/