What to Consider When You’re Selecting a Burndown or Pre-emergence Herbicide

FBN Network

Nov 14, 2023

Starting clean is critical when your goal is maximizing production. Weed management programs need to be viewed as a season-long project with clear goals in mind.

With the proper management program in place, you’ll be able to identify the best burndown herbicides for corn and soybeans. 

Weed Management Goals

Your weed management goals may include early springtime cultivation, rolling certain cover crops and/or a herbicide application to achieve a clean seed bed. If cultivation is not possible (no-till system, highly erodible soil, arid regions), then a burndown and pre-emergence herbicide application may be a great alternative.

Keep in mind that burndown and pre-emergence herbicide applications are only one step in the war on weeds. Starting with a clean field, early competition can be minimized allowing for the crop to get off to a good start. Spring burndown, post-emerge applications, fall burndown and in-season tillage also need to be considered in your overall weed management program.

Actively growing weeds that are not stressed from drought, excessive moisture or cold temperatures are typically the easiest weeds to manage. Stress conditions can cause the weed to shut down making it very difficult to manage, and this tends to be true for all application timings throughout the growing season.

Pros and Cons of the Burndown Herbicides You Choose

When considering burndown chemicals and pre-emergence products, you must understand the pros and cons of the herbicide, such as preplant interval, crop rotation and rain fast.

Understanding the application rates of the burndown herbicide along with any adjuvants that will be added will give you the best chance at managing early weed pressure—adjuvants can increase the efficiency of herbicides, but unfortunately not all adjuvants are created equally, and quality matters.

You must ensure that the adjuvant that you are adding to the herbicide mix is compatible by doing a small sample jar compatibility test. Always read and follow label directions for all herbicides and adjuvant mixtures.

[RELATED: Tips for Your Herbicide Mixing Order]

Keep Modes of Action Top of Mind

Mode of Action (MOA) must be considered as well when selecting your burndown and pre-emergence herbicide program. Limit the use of the same MOA season after season. The more MOA used the better chances you will have at limiting the development of weed resistance. It is everyone's responsibility to limit the development of resistant weeds.

When selecting MOA, your ultimate goal should be developing a weed management program that accounts for:

  1. Early removal of weeds

  2. Longer lasting residual controls

  3. Documented regionalized weed resistance and weed types

Know Your Burndown Herbicide Products and Their Restrictions

There are numerous products on the market that can be used as burndown and pre-emergence products. Some products may apply a planting delay limit, which may range from multiple days to multiple weeks. Other herbicides have restrictions on crop rotation. This can be an important consideration if you have to change crop rotation in the same year. For example, if excessive rain forces you to change from planting corn to soybeans, an unknown restriction from a corn herbicide may not allow soybeans to be planted.

The following is a small sample of products that may be applied as a burndown and/or pre-emergent herbicide in your corn and soybean weed management program.

  1. 2,4-D LV6 Value Pick* - MOA 4

  2. Dicamba DMA 4 Value Pick* - MOA 4

  3. Willowood Glufosinate 280SL -  MOA 10

  4. AgsaverTM Glyphosate 53.8% -  MOA 9

  5. Willowood Paraquat 3SL* - MOA 22

Scout your fields early so you know the growth stage and types of weeds, and you don’t apply the wrong products or miss the prime application window.

And remember, always read and follow label directions for all herbicides and adjuvant mixtures.

Tank Mixes for Corn Passes

Glyphosate Tolerant Corn Pre-Emerge Pass #1

This is a spring burndown only program that does not include a residual but does include glyphosate with systemic non-selective control, along with paraquat, which is a contact, non-selective herbicide for dual mode of action control.

Glyphosate Tolerant Corn Pre-Emerge Pass #2

Vanquish those volunteers with this broadleaf and grass burndown tank mix when traited (glyphosate or glufosinate tolerant) volunteer plants are present.

Glyphosate Tolerant Corn Pre-Emerge Pass #3

This is a high performance, broad spectrum broadleaf and grass burndown and residual mix. Mesotrione is included to control heavy pigweed pressure, and additional Dicamba is utilized where heavy kochia pressure is present.

Tank Mixes for Soybean Passes

Soybean Pre-Emerge Pass #1

This is a budget friendly, non-selective grass and broadleaf control tank mix that includes s-metolachlor for residual activity. This mix includes Tether 24 as a low rate, all-in-one adjuvant, along with Catalyst ADV promote nutrient availability and residue breakdown.

Soybean Pre-Emerge Pass #2

This is a non-selective grass and broadleaf control tank mix that includes s-metolachlor and metribuzin for strong residual activity. Tether 24 is a low rate, all-in-one adjuvant, while Catalyst ADV promotes nutrient availability and residue breakdown.

Soybean Pre-Emerge Pass #3

This is a non-selective grass and broadleaf control tank mix that includes sulfen imaz for very robust residual activity with the help of IN-Cert HighSurf MSO, a required MSO adjuvant and built-in surfactant. Even DR is a low rate, AMS replacement, FieldGrip DRA helps to control drift, and Catalyst ADV promotes nutrient availability and residue breakdown.

Plan Your Passes with AcrePlan

Created with input from FBN® agronomists, AcrePlan is the only digital chem program planning and purchasing tool currently available in the agriculture market.

The tool enables farmers to plan, price, and purchase individual passes for various chemical applications throughout the entire season and add it all to their cart at once, simplifying what can otherwise be a complicated, time-consuming process. 

Available AcrePlan pass options currently include: 

  • Burndown

  • Pre emergence

  • Post emergence

  • Fungicide and insecticide 

AcrePlan even does the math for farmers by providing transparent and upfront dynamic pricing: 

  • Per acre

  • Per pass 

  • For an operation’s entire chem program.

Click here to try AcrePlan for yourself.

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  1. https://crops.extension.iastate.edu/files/page/files/wc94.pdf

  2. http://extensionpubs.unl.edu/publication/9000016794277/2016-guide-for-weed-disease-and-insect-management-in-nebraska/

*RESTRICTED USE PESTICIDE Due to acute toxicity. For retail sale to and use by certified applicators only – NOT to be used by uncertified persons working under the supervision of a certified applicator.

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. AgSaver is a trademark of AgSaver, LLC.

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FBN Network

Nov 14, 2023