Checkoff-funded research helps farmers manage weeds

by | May 29, 2023 | 5 Ag Stories, News

Research funded by the United Soybean Board is helping farmers manage weeds now and in the future. Shannon Tignor Ellis, United Soybean Board farmer-leader from Virginia, said the soybean checkoff has invested in weed management for decades, but is now focused on herbicide-resistant weed management.

?Several major universities in partnership with the checkoff are working on these weed management strategies,? Ellis said. ?And this research explores best management practices for herbicide-resistant weeds and soybean cropping systems, with the objective being increased sustainability through both chemical and nonchemical approaches. The components of this research include cover cropping and mechanical device implementation while preserving herbicides through stewardship.?

Ellis said partnering with universities and other commodity groups to further research is a continuous need the soy checkoff works to meet.

?And these include crop rotation, using chemicals with different modes of action, utilizing cover crops for weed suppression and scouting crops regularly to stay on top of the weed pressure,? Ellis said. ?As farmers, we want to be precise with our pesticide application and use only when necessary. The stewardship of these pesticides is critical so that we can keep as many tools in the toolbox as possible.?

Soybean farmers can learn more about managing herbicide-resistant weeds and the work the checkoff is doing to help combat the problem on the Take Action website.

?This is an industrywide resource that’s available to help farmers manage herbicide, fungicide, and insect resistance,? Ellis said. ?And one of the major suggestions for suppression options is cover crops. And the checkoff has partnered with the National Corn Growers Association and the National Pork Board to launch the Farmers for Soil Health initiative. And a major goal is to increase the number of cover crop acres on corn and soybean fields to 30 million acres by the year 2030.?

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