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Today, more and more growers are bringing additional herbicides into their spring weed control plans. They’ve seen how burnoff add-ins, like Aim® EC herbicide, Heat®, Express® herbicide, Blackhawk™ and/or extended weed control herbicides, like Authority® 480 herbicide and Avadex® – can get their fields cleaner than a glyphosate-only spring application.

Just a few years ago, many of these new pre-emergent users would’ve been reluctant to add another herbicide to glyphosate. Having used and trusted glyphosate for ages, they didn’t believe it needed any help.

That thinking is changing, with more growers embracing pre-emergent herbicides as essential to weed control today… and tomorrow. Here are two ways pre-emergent herbicides are making a difference.

  • Managing weed resistance. Over the past 20 years, the number of confirmed herbicide-resistant weeds has increased steadily. According to FMC’s Nolan Kowalchuk, growers are starting to feel cornered and are looking for a way out.

“We started off with Group 2-resistant kochia – now we’ve got glyphosate-resistant kochia as well,” says Kowalchuk. “In the last little while there’s Group 4-resistant kochia. Now we have kochia that is resistant to all three of these herbicide groups. We’ve also got resistant cleavers out there, and wild oats that are Group 1 and Group 2 resistant. What’s next?”

Adding pre-emergent herbicides to the tank helps delay the development of resistant weeds. Adding Groups like 13 (Command® 360 ME herbicide, 14 (Authority® 480 or Heat®), and 15 (Dual II Magnum® or Focus®) brings another mode of action or two to the field so farmers can keep the traditional workhorses – Groups 1, 2, 4 and 9 – working into the future.

  • Sharper weed control. With no sign of a breakthrough non-selective mode of action riding into town, it’s essential that growers preserve their ability to use glyphosate in the future. What about today? Each spring, growers in Western Canada contend with a host of tough broadleaf weeds, and a glyphosate-only application can only do so much.

“With glyphosate alone, the efficacy on weeds like cleavers, kochia, stinkweed, flixweed, wild buckwheat and narrow-leaved hawk’s-beard isn’t always what you’d want,” says FMC’s Nolan Kowalchuk. “Growers know that early weed control is key and FMC’s pre-emergent herbicides deliver more complete control than glyphosate alone.”

For the folks at FMC, talking to growers about the benefits of pre-emergent herbicides is getting easier by the day. With urgent concern about weed resistance and the need for early weed removal, it’s become clear that glyphosate needs help. That’s progress, and FMC’s Scott Knox sees more to come.

“There are still many farmers who spray glyphosate alone in the spring and fall,” says Knox. “It might be as much as 50% of growers, even today. Given what’s at stake, we’ll continue to recommend that they add one of these pre-emergent herbicides to their glyphosate because if we ever lose glyphosate in Western Canada, it won’t be pretty.”