How to Manage Lambsquarters in Soybeans

FBN Network

Jan 09, 2024

Soybeans, a globally significant cash crop, face a myriad of threats, from pests to diseases. Among these threats, lambsquarters (Chenopodium album), also known as goosefoot and pigweed, stands out as a common weed with the potential to significantly hinder soybean yield and quality. 

With its high adaptability to various soil types, lambsquarters remains a persistent challenge for soybean farmers.

Lambsquarters competes with soybean plants for essential resources. Its rapid growth and large leaf area allow it to outcompete soybeans for light, while its deep root system enables it to access water and nutrients that would otherwise be available to the crop. This competition can lead to stunted growth and reduced yield in soybean plants.

The competition for resources can cause stress in the soybean plants, leading to changes in their physiological processes. For example, the plants may invest more energy in root growth to compete for nutrients, at the expense of above-ground growth and reproduction. This can result in fewer and smaller soybean pods.

This post will outline:

  • How to identify lambsquarters

  • Geographic impact of lambsquarters

  • Timing of lambsquarters emergence

  • How to manage lambsquarters in soybeans

How to Identify Lambsquarters

Lambsquarters is a broadleaf weed characterized by a robust and erect growth habit. The plant, which can reach heights of 1–5 feet, has alternate, diamond-shaped to triangular leaves with a distinctive white, mealy coating underneath. Its leaves have toothed edges. It produces small green flowers in clusters at the plant's top.

Geographic Impact of Lambsquarters

Lambsquarters is a cosmopolitan weed, found throughout the United States, Canada, and many parts of Europe and Asia. It can grow in a wide range of climates and soil types. 

This weed thrives in disturbed soils, making it a frequent sight in cultivated fields, gardens, and waste areas. 

Timing of Lambsquarters Emergence

Lambsquarters typically germinates in the spring and continues to emerge throughout the growing season. However, it poses the most significant threat to soybeans early in the season when both the weed and the crop are establishing.

How to Manage Lambsquarters in Soybeans

Early identification and management of this weed are crucial to prevent yield loss. There are herbicide-resistant populations documented for Group 2 (Harmony/Raptor) and Group 5 herbicides (atrazine/metribuzin). Common lambsquarters is most effectively controlled by applying full rates of soil-applied herbicides prior to or at planting. Post-emergence options are less effective and efficacy varies depending on weed size. 

It's important to follow the instructions and guidelines provided on the labels for proper and effective use of these herbicides.

USA 

Pre-emergence

For managing lambsquarters in soybean, consider OpTill® PRO powered by Kixor® herbicide, which contains Imazethapyr and Saflufenacil as active ingredients. This herbicide is labeled for use with soybeans and is effective against common lambsquarters. You can find it available from FBN®.

OptTill PRO will not be effective on Group 2 (ALS-inhibitor) resistant weed populations. Instead, Authority Maxx and Willowood Sulfen Cloran are good options to control both Group 2 and Group 5 resistant weed populations. 

Post-emergence

Burndown

Use 2,4-D LV6 Value Pick plus Willowood Glypho 5 or Willowood Paraquat 3SL for burndown of common lambsquarters. Note that seven days are needed between 2,4-D ester application and soybean planting. Willowood Paraquat 3SL is a restricted use product.

Canada

Pre-Burndown Options:

In-Crop Options:

Crop Protection from FBN

Proactively scouting for and responding to weed presence in your fields will help reduce potential crop damage and improve yield. FBN has a wide variety of effective herbicides to help address agronomic pressures and keep your operation on track. 

With transparent pricing, straightforward online ordering, detailed product labels, and fast direct-to-farm delivery, FBN can help you get the products you need to protect your crops.


Related Resources


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FBN Network

Jan 09, 2024