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When you’ve got herbicide-resistant weeds, variety selection can’t be all about yield, says Lisa Behnken, University of Minnesota Extension regional educator. “If I have giant ragweed in my Roundup Ready beans that I can’t control, those yields will definitely be affected.”
Growers should first be looking at the top third of the varieties, based on yield, she says. “But from there you need to consider disease resistance and physical characteristics that best fit your fields. Those are often more important than getting the top yielder.”
Most people know they should eat a healthier diet, but it often takes a medical scare to motivate them to change. Most soybean growers know they should add more diversity to their weed control plans, but it often takes herbicide-resistant weeds in their fields to motivate them to try a new system. The hesitation to move away from the simplicity of glyphosate has been one of the biggest reasons many soybean growers in the northern half of the country haven’t tried LibertyLink soybean varieties. But as glyphosate-resistant weeds continue to appear in an increasing number of Midwest fields, more growers may soon be motivated.
“We have glyphosate weed-resistance issues across most of the state of Minnesota,” says Lisa Behnken, University of Minnesota Extension regional educator based in Rochester. “Giant ragweed and waterhemp are the two big ones that have confirmed resistance to glyphosate, but there are others in development.”
While there are several robust herbicide systems for corn, and a lot of herbicide options, she notes that herbicide choices in soybeans are still somewhat limited. “The LibertyLink system is a good option for growers who have weeds resistant to both glyphosate and ALS inhibitors,” she says. “We tell growers they need to develop a five-year weed-control plan to help avoid herbicide-resistant weed issues, and LibertyLink could fit nicely into that plan.”