How to Manage Ragweed in Corn

FBN Network

Jan 25, 2024

Ragweed, especially common and giant ragweed, ranks among the most troublesome weeds in cornfields. Research suggests that unmanaged ragweed can slash corn yields by up to 50%, making it a major concern for farmers.

Ragweed competes with corn for resources, reducing the availability of nutrients, water, and sunlight for the corn plants. This competition can result in stunted growth, reduced ear size, and ultimately, lower yields.

This post will outline:

  • How to identify ragweed 

  • Geographic impact of ragweed

  • Timing of ragweed

  • How to manage ragweed in corn

How to Identify Ragweed 

Ragweed plants typically stand 1 to 5 feet tall, while giant ragweed can tower up to 17 feet. The plants feature a rough, hairy stem and deeply lobed, fern-like leaves. The flowers, small, green, and inconspicuous, cluster in spikes at the plant's top.

Ragweed is a prolific pollen producer, which can serve as a strong presence indicator. However, in a cornfield, the plant's presence is the most obvious sign. As a broadleaf weed, ragweed contrasts sharply against the grass-like corn plants.

Geographic Impact of Ragweed

Ragweed is prevalent throughout North America, especially in the Midwest and eastern United States. It thrives in disturbed soils, making agricultural fields an ideal habitat.

Timing of Ragweed

Ragweed is an annual weed, completing its lifecycle in a single growing season. It usually germinates in the spring, with peak emergence from late spring to early summer. However, it can continue to emerge throughout the growing season, making it a persistent issue.

How to Manage Ragweed in Corn

Early identification and management of this weed in the growing season are crucial to minimizing its impact and protecting corn yields. Farmers must remain vigilant, scout their fields regularly, and implement effective weed management strategies to combat this persistent invader.

While no specific products are labeled for managing ragweed in corn, several general strategies can be employed. Consider using pre-emergent herbicides before planting to control ragweed. Post-emergent herbicides can also target ragweed after corn emergence. It's vital to read and follow the herbicide label instructions carefully. 

Shop for crop protection products here.

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.


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FBN Network

Jan 25, 2024