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Farmers have some weed control options

An extension weed scientist says farmers still might not be able to get dicamba this spring even with the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent order allowing the use of existing stocks.

But Kevin Bradley with University of Missouri Extension tells Brownfield farmers have options.

“I think we need to rely much more on effective pre-emergence residual herbicides and make that the first priority.”

Bradley says pre-emergence residual herbicides can be effective on weeds at or before planting, following up with an overlapping residual herbicide program. And then…

“The XtendFlex system allows applications of glufosinate. One of the more common trade names for that active ingredient is Liberty and there are others. I still feel and always have felt we can have a successful weed management program without dicamba.”

He says that solution requires greater attention to detail, good management of the glufosinate, scouting for weeds and following up with another herbicide application, if needed.

Bradley says he’s not surprised at the continued uncertainty of dicamba, given the ongoing litigation and it will be important farmers look beyond a “silver bullet” solution to weed control moving forward. 

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