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University of Minnesota Extension explores what's on the horizon for herbicides in corn and soybean

University of Minnesota Extension specialists spent the day on July 8 demonstrating trials at its plot in Rochester.

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Ryan Miller, crops extension educator at the University of Minnesota, talks to a crowd on July 8 at the University of Minnesota field plot in Rochester, Minn. (Noah Fish / Agweek)
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ROCHESTER, Minn. — Farmers and ag specialists in southeast Minnesota on July 8 got the chance to see some of the applied research that University of Minnesota Extension scientists have been working on this summer.

Ryan Miller, crops extension educator at the University of Minnesota, said the highlight of that research was weed management, in particular using herbicides to manage weeds.

"It's really an opportunity to get farmers and ag professionals out and take a look at some of the work we've been doing at this particular site," Miller said.

The plot in Rochester focuses on crops prevalent in southern Minnesota, so it has different herbicide evaluations in both corn and soybeans. Miller said farmers came to the field day because at the site they get to evaluate some of the newer herbicide products, many of which aren't registered yet or they don't have a name.

"And so that gives us an opportunity to kind of get a firsthand look as professionals, as well as farmers, what the potential is for some of these products in the field." Miller said. "So we get to work with different crop protection industry representatives to put together protocols and adopt some of their protocols to evaluate some of these programs."

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Debalin Sarangi, assistant professor and extension weed scientist at the University of Minnesota, specializes in weed management in corn and soybeans. At the field day, Sarangi showed some weeds from around Minnesota that had survived multiple sprayings of high doses of herbicides.

"Roundup, Calisto, Atrazine, Flexter, and Raptor — so those are five herbicides sprayed at three times of the label dose, and the waterhemp population survived," said Sarangi.

Attendees to the July 8 field day received a poster formulated by the United Soybean Board which Miller calls a "roadmap to herbicides."

"So we can kind of start doing a better job of monitoring what groups we're using, and trying to diversify our approach to chemical weed control," he said. "So using both robust programs that have multiple groups, as well as making sure we don't get hung up using the same product repeatedly. It's kind of an interesting tool to help you kind of decipher what are in some of our more common products that we're using on the farm."

Miller said the fields in southern Minnesota were in pretty good shape for planting season this year, but the growing season started with cool conditions and then a late frost.

"We had decent conditions early on, and then a week after that a frost condition, before we switched into extremely hot conditions — hotter than normal," Miller said. "We put together strings of 90-degree days that we hadn't experienced before, at least don't have on the record — so very hot and very dry, which is going to create a significant challenge for folks trying to manage weeds and pick programs that are going to work."

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