Soybean growers can increase yields by limiting early-season competition

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (March 5, 2009) — Higher yields are available to soybean growers who start the growing season off right with early protection from annual competition.

Weeds, insects and disease pressure limit crop yield potential throughout the season, even during the first weeks. To help combat these yield-robbing pests from the start, growers now have a new, nonselective alternative in soybeans.

Available for 2009, new LibertyLink® soybeans combine top genetics with built-in tolerance to the broad-spectrum weed control of Ignite® herbicide. Combined with the multi-faceted seed protection of the Trilex® 6000 Soybean System, the LibertyLink soybean program provides growers a complete solution for limiting early season crop threats.

“LibertyLink soybean varieties feature elite germplasm and have no yield lag or drag,” said Andy Hurst, product manager, herbicide tolerant traits and Ignite herbicide at Bayer CropScience. “To maximize yield potential, it’s important for growers to implement best management practices, like early weed control and seed protection.”

Early Weed Control

One way to boost profits is to control weeds before they impact soybean yields, according to Bob Hartzler, Extension weed specialist and professor of agronomy at Iowa State University (ISU).

“Fields may be weed-free at harvest yet suffer significant yield losses because weeds that emerged with the crop were allowed to grow until after the critical period was reached,” explained Hartzler in a March 2007 article published in the Integrated Crop Management newsletter.

A Michigan State University study found that if growers allow weeds to grow 6 inches tall before applying a postemergence herbicide, they may experience a yield loss of up to 10 bu/A to 14 bu/A for soybeans planted in 15-inch and 7.5-inch rows, respectively.

Bayer CropScience promotes the use of pre-emergence residual herbicides, followed by a timely Ignite herbicide application, when weeds are 3 to 4 inches tall. This limits the time weeds compete with soybean plants for nutrients, water and sunlight, Hurst said.

“The biggest abuse with Roundup Ready soybeans is growers spray glyphosate way too late so they neglect crop yield,” said Mike Owen, Extension weed specialist and professor of agronomy at ISU. “You have to spray earlier to remove the weeds before they compete against potential yields.”

Seed Protection from the Start

Hurst reminds growers that another way to maximize soybean yields is to protect seeds before they hit the ground.

In 2009, all LibertyLink soybeans will feature the advanced protection of the Trilex 6000 Soybean System, which combines six powerful layers of protection, including two fungicides, a biological fungicide and an insecticide. All layers of Trilex 6000 combine to give growers increased crop vigor in their stands and yields.

“The Trilex 6000 Soybean System safeguards seed from a wide variety of early season insects and disease, protecting yield potential of top genetics, like those offered in LibertyLink varieties,” Hurst said.

For more information about LibertyLink soybeans, Ignite herbicide or the

Trilex 6000 Soybean System, growers can visit www.BayerCropScienceUS.com, contact their local Bayer CropScience sales representative or call

1-866-99-BAYER (1-866-992-2937).

Newsletter Signup
Continuing Education Courses
New Course

Accredited for 2 hours/CCA Soil & Water credits. The 2,000 member...

Keeping crop protection chemicals on the crop for which they are intended has been a...

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×