10 Chem Tips to Maximize Crop Protection and Plant Health

FBN Network

Jun 11, 2024

Share this article on:

An effective chemical program can help you get the most out of your input investments and protect your crop yield.

Here are 10 helpful tips our agronomists and other experts have shared in previously published FBN blogs. Click on the blog links to read the full articles. 

1. Identify Nutrient Deficiencies with Soil or Plant Tissue Tests 

Micronutrients — for instance, zinc, iron, and manganese — are often more available when the pH is slightly alkaline, between 7 and 7.5. In contrast, macronutrients — such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium — are often more available when the pH is slightly acidic, between 6.2 to 7.0. As a result, fertilizers are often beneficial to ensuring plants get the nutrients they require. 

Read What Are Micronutrients and Why Are They Essential to Plant Growth?

2. Limit Plant Stress with Foliar Crop Nutrition 

To manage potential late season yield limiting deficiencies, plants require a balanced package of nutrients. Nourish Vitals™ can help improve abiotic stress tolerance and push late vegetative to early reproductive development.

Read Exploring In-Season Options for Foliar Crop Nutrition.

3. Reduce Fertilizer Reliance with Plant Growth Regulators 

Plant growth regulators (PGRs) are hormones and chemicals that affect the development and growth of plants. Because applying PGRs can help diminish reliance on fertilizers and pesticides, they are popular for sustainable agriculture. 

Read 5 Types of Plant Growth Regulators (and When to Use Each)

4. Reduce Fertilizer Requirements by 10X with Inhabit P™ 

A low-salt liquid corn fertilizer starter, Inhabit P™ contains a micro-humate complexed with phosphorus which aids in reducing tie up with other minerals so that it is available for the plant to use. Field trials revealed it requires 10 times less product than conventional corn starter fertilizer. 

Read Inhabit P™ Requires 10X Less Product Than Conventional Starter, New Trials Show

5. Better Manage Weeds by Understanding Their Life Cycle

Once you’ve determined what weed species is in your field, research its life cycle. The FBN pest pages provide weed-specific information that can help you identify weeds and learn about their life cycles. By knowing whether a weed is an annual, biennial, or perennial, you will be better prepared to manage it.

Read Follow These 3 Steps to Simplify Your Herbicide Selection Process

6. Rotate Herbicides to Proactively Delay Resistance

With 270+ herbicide-resistant weeds, it’s critical to slow the speed at which weeds are becoming resistant to herbicides. Herbicide diversity can help.

Read 7 Ways U.S. Farmers Can Proactively Delay Herbicide Weed Resistance

7. Boost Herbicide Effectiveness in Dry Conditions with Crop Oil Concentrates

When there isn’t enough moisture in the air, water-based herbicides may become less effective because they evaporate before the plant absorbs them. Crop oil concentrates (COC), a type of adjuvant, can slow the speed of evaporation. 

Read What’s the Difference Between Crop Oil Concentrates vs. Methylated Seed Oils?

8. Watch Out for Phytotoxicity When Tank Mixing with Fungicides

Fungicides are not great partners when tank mixing. Phytotoxicity can occur because of the combination of pesticides utilized, the temperature of water used, or impurities within the water. It’s important to always follow the product label when it comes to mixing anything with fungicides. 

Read 6 Key Steps to an Effective Fungicide Application

9. Decide Between Tank Mixes vs. Premixes 

There are pros and cons to both premix and tank-mixed chem formulations, and the decision of which to use depends on each farmer’s unique needs. However, if your top priority is improving performance, tank mixes may be the best choice for you.

Read Should You Use Premix vs. Tank Mixed Ag Chemicals?

10. Check Herbicide Labels to Avoid Carryover 

Although a long-lasting herbicide may sound efficient and cost-effective, when it remains active in the soil longer than necessary it can create significant issues for crop rotation. Always review the herbicide label for carryover information when planning your chem program. 

Read How Long Will Your Residual Herbicide Actually Last?

Plan Your Chem Program with FBN

FBN offers a wide variety of chem products to help you protect your crops and ensure plant health, including:

Prices are always transparent, and we will ship chem directly to your farm. 

Looking for more chem tips?


© 2014 - 2024 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN”, "Farmers First", “FBN Direct” , "Nourish Vitals”, “Inhabit P" are trademarks or registered trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc.

FBN Direct products and services and other products distributed by FBN Direct are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LLC is licensed and where those products are registered for sale or use, if applicable. If applicable, please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. Nothing contained on this page, including the prices listed should be construed as an offer for sale, or a sale of products. All products and prices are subject to change at any time and without notice and excludes CA mills tax and MN ACRRA fees. Terms and conditions apply.

ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. It is a violation of federal and state 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 and that the usage of a product is otherwise consistent with federal, state and local laws.  We reserve the right to restrict sales on a geographic basis in our sole discretion. You must have a valid applicator license to use restricted use pesticides.  Please consult your state department of agriculture for complete rules and regulations on the use of restricted use pesticides, as some products require specific record-keeping requirements.

Norm℠ is an experiment. Additional terms and conditions apply.

FBN Network

Jun 11, 2024

Share this article on:
You Need It. We Got It.
Shop online & get crop protection delivered direct.
Download Crop Nutrition Guide
Boost your crop vitality with the Farmers First™ portfolio.
Free Balance Sheet
Track your assets, liabilities and more with this template.
Ag Chemical Best Practices
Download Ag Chemical Best Practices