The list of corn herbicides continues to grow. As in recent years, most new products for 1998 are premixes of weed control products already available under other names. But you'll also find some new chemistry.

The additions give you more options than ever before. So if you can sort through the maze of available products to find the ones that best fit your soils and situation, your corn weed control program should take another step forward.

Here's a list of the new herbicides, along with some details on each, as provided by crop protection marketers.

Python WDG, from Dow AgroSciences, gives corn growers another choice for surface preplant, preplant incorporated or pre-emergence control of troublesome smaller- seeded broadleaf weeds such as pigweed, lambsquarters and velvetleaf. It also is an excellent foundation for control of waterhemp as part of a two-pass program.

The active ingredient, flumetsulam (Broadstrike), is an ALS inhibitor that works by preventing the synthesis of amino acids required for plant growth.

Python WDG can be used in any tillage system from conventional to no-till. Its tankmix flexibility is another added benefit. Partnering it with a safened grass herbicide such as Dual II, Harness or Surpass provides foundation control of both broadleaf weeds and grasses, including triazine-resistant species.

It's packaged in convenient water-soluble packets priced around $7-9/acre.

Field Master provides pre-emergence burndown control of more than 30 annual grasses and broadleaves, and also reduces competition from common perennials. Its annual-weed spectrum includes foxtails, panicums, barnyardgrass, crabgrass, kochia, lambsquarters, pigweeds, velvetleaf and waterhemp.

The new Monsanto herbicide, a blend of Harness Extra and Roundup, can be used in all tillage systems.

"Field Master provides the most powerful combination of burndown and residual control in a single herbicide, with no carryover," says Jim Zimmer, marketing manager. "Its performance on heavy or high- organic-matter soils and in fields with high levels of crop residue make it an ideal choice for corn growers looking for an Extrazine II replacement."

It may be applied in water or 28% or 32% liquid nitrogen. Tankmix partners include 2,4-D, atrazine, Princep, Bladex, Roundup and Harness.

Sold in bulk and 2.5-gallon jugs, it will be available in limited quantities this year.

Lightning strikes the IMI-corn herbicide market this spring. U.S. corn growers, who last year planted an estimated 2.8 million acres of IMI corn, now have an added weapon to control grasses and broadleaves. From American Cyanamid, it comes in a 70% water dispersible granule formulation.

"No other postemerge corn herbicide provides the convenience of a one-pass, post program with proven residual grass and broadleaf weed control," says Jeff Dilbeck, technical specialist.

Applied when weeds are 1-4" tall, they're non-competitive after 24 hours and dead within two to four weeks. Controlled weeds include cocklebur, lambsquarters, morningglory, velvetleaf, woolly cupgrass, seedling johnsongrass, wild proso millet and more.

Lightning contains the same active ingredient as Pursuit Plus, an additional IMI active ingredient to broaden the spectrum. It may be used in sequential programs with a burndown herbicide such as Roundup or Gramoxone. Tankmix options include 2,4-D, Banvel, Buctril, Clarity, Frontier, Prowl or others.

Lightning comes in water-soluble, two-acre packets. A one-use rate of 1.28 oz/acre provides effective control, regardless of soil type, soil pH and organic matter levels.

Accent Gold, a new postemergent corn herbicide from DuPont, is a combination of the active ingredients in Accent, Basis Gold and Hornet.

"We will be able to offer corn farmers in the northern Midwest the first post product with broad-spectrum grass and broadleaf control with contact and residual activity that's also safe to rotate to alfalfa or soybeans."

That's according to Chris Harr, business manager for post corn herbicides.

Controlled weeds include foxtails, barnyardgrass, johnsongrass, quackgrass, velvetleaf, cocklebur, pigweeds, ragweeds and jimsonweed.

Accent Gold may be applied to field-corn hybrids up to 12" tall, with relative maturities of 88 days or more. Applied three to five weeks after planting, it provides season-long control when used in a one-pass application. Or, it can replace a post broadleaf herbicide in a two-pass program.

It may be tankmixed with atrazine, Clarity, Banvel or Marksman. Each water- soluble packet treats four acres for about $20-21 per acre.

OpTill was recently added to BASF's portfolio when the company bought Sandoz' corn chemistry. Previously available for preplant applications only, it now can be used pre-emergence and early postemergence, too.

A combination of the active ingredients in Frontier, Banvel and Clarity, OpTill offers consistent control of a number of grasses and small-seeded broadleaves, even under wet or dry conditions.

Among the weeds it controls are foxtail, panicum, johnsongrass, kochia, lambsquarters, morningglory, velvetleaf and waterhemp.

"OpTill offers excellent crop safety in the dark, heavier soils of the Upper Midwest," says Bryan Brochin, market manager. "And it provides fast activity even with low rainfall, yet offers more consistent control under variable moisture conditions."

Axiom, from Bayer Corp., is expected to be available in limited quantities for the '98 growing season.

The early preplant, pre-emergence herbicide controls grasses such as foxtails, crabgrass, fall panicum, goosegrass, seedling Johnsongrass, broadleaf signalgrass and witchgrass.

It also controls broadleaves such as tall and common waterhemp, Florida beggarsweed, common lambsquarters, carpetweed, Florida pusley, common purslane and spotted spurge.

A new United Agri Products herbicide, Saber, is expected to receive EPA approval for the '98 growing season. It can be broadcast-applied pre- and postemergent at a 20% lower rate than standard 2,4-Ds.

The herbicide controls broadleaves such as pigweed, lambsquarters, morningglory, smartweeds, ragweed and thistle and can be tankmixed with other corn herbicides. It costs $1-$2.50/acre, with 11/4 pint the highest rate and 1/2 pint the lowest.

Spirit, anticipated to receive EPA approval for the upcoming growing season, is a combination of the active ingredients in Beacon and Exceed.

>From Novartis, the postemergence product controls a broad spectrum of broadleaf weeds, including cocklebur, lambsquarters, nightshades, pigweeds and Canada thistle. It also controls yellow foxtail, quackgrass, seedling johnsongrass and shattercane.

Its application rate: 1 oz/acre. It will be competitively priced.