Waterhemp a problem for growers in parts of Illinois and Iowa

Waterhemp in an Iowa soybean field (photo courtesy Iowa State University)

A tech service rep covering western Illinois and eastern Iowa for BASF says weeds have been a problem this year.

Kurt Maertens tells Brownfield the growing season started slow because it was cool and wet, but conditions turned hot and dry the second week of May.

“And then everything happened at the same time. Tillage, planting, spraying, where we strung together four or five days of 90-plus degree temperatures. Great conditions for getting everything done, however all of our weeds started emerging at the same time, especially that darned waterhemp.”

He says there were weed escapes at burndown and some residuals didn’t activate because there wasn’t enough moisture.

“So this waterhemp got tough really fast. And of course the bigger it got, the tougher it got, or what we call hardened off. And when it hardens off like that, it’s ability to take up herbicides diminishes.”

Maertens says weed control in both corn and soybeans “was tougher this year” and weather played a big role.   

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