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Weed Management
Aaron Hager
Department of Crop Sciences
hager@illinois.edu

N umerous plant species are considered weeds in
agronomic cropping systems. Weeds have many at-
tributes undesirable to crop producers, not the least being
13: 978-0801483349). Available from Cornell University
Press.
Most weeds of agronomic cropping systems are herba-
the ability to reduce crop yields through competition for ceous, but a few species that can become established in
resources such as sunlight, water, nutrients, and space. reduced-tillage fields are woody (such as maple trees).
Weeds also may harbor insects and provide a host for Weeds can be categorized according to their life cycle, or
certain plant pathogens. Some weed species, such as wild how long they live: annual, biennial, and perennial (Table
garlic and eastern black nightshade, can reduce the quality 12.1). Knowledge of life cycles is important to reducing
of the harvested crop. Eliminating or reducing the delete- the potential for weeds to produce viable seed or vegeta-
rious effects of weeds on agronomic crops is the ultimate tive structures that aid in weed dispersal (Table 12.2).
goal of weed management. Integrated weed management
includes all practices that enhance a crop’s competitive Annual plants complete their life cycle (from seed to
ability and decrease weeds’ ability to reduce yield. seed) in one year; they are sometimes further divided
into winter annuals and summer annuals. Summer annual
Successful weed management requires identifying rel- weeds emerge in the spring, grow in spring and summer,
evant species and understanding their biological charac- then flower and produce seed during late summer or early
teristics so that management can be tailored to the weeds fall (Figure 12.1). These species are the most common
present in individual fields. Accurate identification is weeds that grow in agronomic crops. Summer annual
critical: identification of seedling weeds is necessary for weeds can be controlled by various soil-applied herbicides
selecting an appropriate postemergence herbicide, while before they emerge; they are easiest to control with post­
identifying mature weeds often indicates which species emergence herbicides when they are small (about 4 inches
will populate a particular field the following season. Most or less). In general, most weeds become progressively
weed species in Illinois agronomic cropping systems harder to control with herbicides as they become larger.
are either broadleaves or grasses. Broadleaf species are
generally easier to differentiate than grasses, especially Winter annual weeds emerge during late summer or fall,
at early growth stages. Many excellent identification overwinter in a vegetative state, then flower and produce
references are available, including the several listed here; seed the following spring (Figure 12.2). They are com-
one or more should be part of every weed management mon in fields where no tillage is done after harvest and in
practitioner’s library. fall-seeded small grains and forages. Controlling winter
annual weeds with herbicides may be accomplished during
lW
 eeds of the North Central States (B772). Available from late fall or early spring. It is best to control all existing
the University of Illinois (www.pubsplus.illinois.edu). weed vegetation (including winter and summer annuals)
lW
 eeds of the Great Plains (ISBN-10: 0939870002; before planting corn or soybean in the spring or before
ISBN-13: 978-0939870004). Available from the Ne- fall-seeding small grains or forages.
braska Department of Agriculture, 402-471-2394. Biennial plants complete their life cycle over two years.
lW
 eeds of the Northeast (ISBN-10: 0801483344; ISBN- Biennials emerge in the spring or summer, overwinter

Weed Management 153

Table 12.1. Examples of weed species by life cycle.
Annuals Perennials
Winter Summer Biennials Simple Spreading
butterweed barnyardgrass bull thistle common milkweed Canada thistle
common chickweed burcucumber common burdock curly dock hemp dogbane
downy brome common cocklebur musk thistle dandelion Jerusalem artichoke
field pennycress common lambsquarters poison hemlock field bindweed johnsongrass
henbit common ragweed teasel hedge bindweed perennial sowthistle
horseweed crabgrass wild carrot honeyvine milkweed quackgrass
little barley giant foxtail horsenettle swamp smartweed
prickly lettuce giant ragweed pokeweed trumpetcreeper
purple deadnettle green foxtail smooth groundcherry wirestem muhly
shepherd’s-purse jimsonweed yellow nutsedge
yellow rocket kochia
shattercane
smartweed
smooth pigweed
tall morningglory
velvetleaf
waterhemp
yellow foxtail

Table 12.2. Characteristics of weed life cycles. Perennial weed species are frequently difficult to control
Duration of Overwintering Method of
because they store food reserves in their root systems or
Weed type life cycle state reproduction underground storage structures. Controlling only what
Annual 1 yr Seed Seed
is above ground is usually not sufficient for satisfactory,
long-term control; what is underground must be controlled
Biennial 2 yr Rosette Seed
as well. Translocated herbicides (those that can move into
Perennial >2 yr Seed, vegetative Seed, vegetative the roots) are usually the most effective chemical option
propagule propagules
to control perennial weeds, but when they are applied is
very important. In the spring, perennials rely on stored
in a vegetative stage (often referred to as a rosette), then
food reserves to initiate new growth, so most of the food at
resume growth the following spring (Figure 12.3). Elon-
this time of year is moving upward from the roots to sup-
gation of the flowering stalk (bolting) and seed production
port new vegetative development. Because of this upward
can vary by species; it occurs during the spring, sum-
movement, it’s often difficult to get sufficient herbicide
mer, or fall of the second year. Biennial weeds are often
into the root when applications are made in early spring.
best controlled with postemergence herbicides during the
rosette stage of growth. Their susceptibility to herbicides Better control of perennial broadleaf species can be
generally decreases rapidly after the onset of bolting. achieved when postemergence translocated herbicides are
applied about the time the plants begin to flower. Another
Perennial species live longer than two years—theoreti-
good time to treat perennial weed species is early to mid-
cally, indefinitely (Figure 12.4). Some species reproduce
fall. As day length shortens and temperatures fall, peren-
almost exclusively by seed and are referred to as simple
nial plant species begin to move food back into their roots,
perennials. Other species can reproduce by both seed and
and more translocated herbicide moves to the root as well.
various types of vegetative propagules (creeping roots, rhi-
zomes, tubers, etc.). These types of perennials are referred Figure 12.5 depicts a generalized representation of post­
to as creeping, or spreading, perennials. emergence herbicide effectiveness on annual, biennial, and
perennial weeds as influenced by stage of weed growth at
Perennial weed species often become established in no-till
application.
production fields and can cause great frustration with re-
spect to how best to control or eradicate them. Without the Scout agronomic production fields for weeds several times
option of mechanical weed control (i.e., tillage), perennial each season. In no-till fields, determine which winter an-
weed species are generally best controlled with post­ nual or early-emerging summer annual species are present
emergence translocated herbicides. Which translocated prior to any herbicide application so that herbicide selec-
herbicide is used, as well as when the application is made, tion and application rates can be optimized for the species
can impact the success achieved. present before planting.

154 Illinois Agronomy Handbook

Summer annual weed life cycle. Figure 12.1. Winter annual weed life cycle. Weed Management 155 .Figure 12.2.

156 Illinois Agronomy Handbook .4. Biennial weed life cycle. Figure 12. dormant germinate plant dies Figure 12. Perennial weed life cycle.3.

” Proceedings of the Illinois emerge over a relatively long part of the growing season.M. tend to Crop-Weed Competition Studies. vary somewhat from year to year.5. nutrients. “Factors to Consider When Interpreting emergence. whereas others. Some species. while morningglory species can emerge during their harmful effects on crop growth and productivity mid-summer (see Figure 12. each 50 with distinct advantages and dis- advantages.6 for emergence sequences for through competing for light. the goal is 0 Seedling Vegetative Rosette Rosette Bolting Flowering to prevent weeds from contributing to crop yield loss by reducing the 100 amount of competition exerted by Perennials the weeds. There are also several 25 methods by which herbicides can be applied. would rather use only postemer- nial weeds as influenced by stage of weed growth at the time of application. adversely impacted. Whatever quantities weeds use are unavailable 0 for use by the crop. Wax. such as waterhemp. % control Many options are available. tend to have a relatively short period of *Some text in the “Weed Interference” section has been modified from L. moisture. Weed emergence results of such research be interpreted? can. gence herbicides to control weeds. crop yield can be. Is one method better than another at reducing weed interference? What Knowing when weed species begin to emerge can vastly research is needed to determine how improve your management program if you practice timely and when competition reduces crop yield? How should scouting and subsequent control tactics.). Soil- Vegetative Early flower Mature applied residual herbicides can be used to eliminate any early-season Time of herbicide treatment weed competition. and often does. and often 100 is. water. 75 The concept of competition between weeds and crops has received a great % control deal of recent attention from farmers 50 and herbicide manufacturers alike. Agricultural Pesticides Conference. such as velvetleaf. Biennials Currently the most common method 75 of managing weeds is herbicides. Whatever the herbicide or method of application. 1998. Weed Management 157 . 100 Weed Interference* Annuals 75 Weed management strategies at- tempt to limit the deleterious effects % control weeds have when growing with crop 50 plants. biennial. Weeds such as smartweed and kochia emerge during early Those involved in managing weeds have long recognized spring. Most common is competition with the crop for available growth 25 factors (light. but some farmers Figure 12. A particular point of interest focuses 25 on when competition (from weeds) should be removed so that yields 0 (of corn and soybean primarily) Seedling Bud Full flower Regrowth are not adversely impacted. Postemergence herbicide effectiveness on annual. etc. and space weed species common in corn and soybean). and peren. If weeds can use Seedling Vegetative Flowering Mature a sufficient amount of some growth factor.

date for weeds varies from year to year. soil type and moisture. However. and crop residue. determine when to scout fields and implement later groups begin to emerge. Illinois Agronomy Handbook . including cloud The duration of emergence for species is indicated that begin to emerge at similar dates. Each group below includes weeds factors than air temperature. the required to reach 10% emergence. Knowing when weeds begin to emerge can emerge over a prolonged time period. the majority of emergence improve weed management by helping to from earlier groups may still be emerging when occurs in a short time period (2–3 weeks). The GDD (base whereas other species may emerge over a control tactics. Emergence sequences for weed species common in midwestern corn and soybean. Iowa State University University of Wisconsin North Central Region University Extension Cooperative Extension Integrated Pest Management Program University of Illinois United States Department of Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture Agriculture University of Minnesota Agricultural Research Service File: Pest Management 9 Extension Service 158 Figure 12. emergence sequence of different weeds is fairly weed emergence is influenced by several other constant. Although the initial emergence 48) information is an estimate of heat units prolonged period (8–10 weeks).6. so weeds For some species. Most weeds cover. by the color background where its name appears.

again due to the excellent shading Most recent years could be described as lambsquarters provided by a healthy stand of soybean. Weed Variables Cropping and Cultural Practices Weeds have been able to reproduce. Different species and biotypes season. crop’s competitive ability. some general guidelines evolved regarding the than weeds that emerge only after the crop emerges. Early studies. plete weed control is achieved with herbicides prior to crop ings are reported. Very early ity of the harvested crop. mainly because they could overtop soybeans conditions—only some years are a so-called nightshade and cause greater losses from shading. competitive ability of corn and soybean. it obviously requires more fox- deleterious effect on crop growth or yield.as well as hampering harvest operations. were sometimes less competitive in corn than in appear to respond differentially to various environmental soybeans. and compete for centuries. can from providing essentially no competition to competing vary greatly in growth habits and ultimately in their ability very aggressively. but this without suffering yield or harvest losses. with edly and sometimes erratically. allows for lead to future problems. relative competitiveness of weeds with various crops. weeds that are established at the time competition and the time of weed removal. Time of planting for both corn and withstand low populations of weeds throughout the season soybeans is earlier now than several decades ago. of weed species to be present than historically has been ous crops and assessed the importance of the duration of common. does not always enhance competitive ability. Germination patterns differ mark- crops of Illinois. and sometimes biotypes within species. survive. Clearly. For the most part. with no weed species. In general. From those of crop emergence begin to compete with the crop earlier studies. up to a point. the severity of problems presented by stands of various can increase the competitive ability of the crop. with those that canopy state. and the and soybeans differ in the ability to compete with weeds? appropriate time of weed removal with postemergence Conclusive evidence is lacking. combined with reduced or no tillage. soybeans than in corn. and pigweed years. However. at least partly due to their diversity. soybeans and corn are probably more equal in currently available. the once-accurate grown at high populations in narrow rows. Species Crops vary greatly in their ability to compete with weeds. and producing propagules that planting. studies have allowed the development of relative competi- such as sweet corn. losses tend to Weed Management 159 . tended to show nearly equal tential for competition. as new find. Weeds that rarely year or smartweed year or nutsedge year. Especially for soybean. do corn weed-free time needed following crop emergence. narrow The density or population of weeds required to cause a row spacings have enhanced the ability to compete with consistent yield reduction in crops has been difficult to weeds. Obviously. if left for the entire and almost unpredictable. A number of studies have shown that tive indices that can be somewhat helpful in determining increasing crop populations within the row. soybean establish. ity. there is probably not much difference in most instances. Numerous experiments over the greater weed competition as well as for a different suite years have compared weed species and density in vari. so that under current production practices. competition research. corn and soybeans can their competitiveness. but many speculate that treatments to preclude loss of crop quantity and qual. causing differences in po- a variety of weed species. Very tall-growing weeds. and weed management However. but it is currently being investigated in individual plant and reach widely varying heights. earlier and provide more shading being the most competi. especially when vigorous varieties are practices have changed over the years. which can vary from year to year. This text focuses on the major field to compete with crops. every year is a foxtail or velvetleaf year. as demonstrated in many competition studies. Many research studies have addressed this issue may be more competitive than corn. reducing qual. with some dif. as tillage. tail plants than cocklebur or giant ragweed plants to pro- Row spacing and time of planting can greatly influence a duce the same degree of competition with corn or soybean. soybeans. tive. both past and present. When planted in and helped establish some of the thresholds and guidelines wide rows. of weeds. For example. These crops where a limited number of herbicide options exist. corn and soybean. this aspect has not been exploited weeds produce markedly differing amounts of growth per to any great degree. and in some instances modified. the With modern production practices and herbicides. and offers guidelines for interpreting related data. The following text reviews crop–weed canopy closure and that neither crop will be cultivated. planting. and few could dispute the increased Crop varieties and hybrids can vary substantially in prevalence of waterhemp years recently across much of the response to weed competition. whereas in most grew taller than soybeans often caused less yield loss in areas of Illinois. Emergence and growth also vary from slow to even rapid ferences. usually have an guidelines regarding crop–weed competition should be edge over corn in competitive ability. assuming that com- revisited.

It is important to until the weeds were removed either mechanically or by note that some of these studies initiated the interval at hand. Until fairly recently. these types of studies became relatively more needs in order to be effective after planting. how long weeds can remain in the crop and eventually be ment weed management practices.S. such corn and soybean production systems of the northern U. As mentioned the impact of giant ragweed density on soybean yield). The impact of giant ragweed density on soybean yield. Such experiments are especially use. since Another factor to consider is that many of these stud- variation across locations and years almost always occurs ies were conducted either by seeding unimbibed weed and can be considerable. and how these General threshold guidelines would be possible. so it is very difficult. with the objective being to obtain % yield loss 60 4 to 5 weeks without weed competition.5 is administered in the form of postemergence herbicides if soil-applied treatments do not last Giant ragweed plants/m2 sufficiently long. 100 tially significant difference. if not impossible. With the or harvesting losses. probably due to differing environmental many locations. and could cover a same amount of time is not defined. One type of experiment removed with no resultant deleterious effects on quan- is designed to determine the early-season weed-free inter.. there has been considerable variation that cause a specific yield reduction is difficult across from year to year. bicides were applied only in a band over the row. may be needed to establish and refine thresholds. a review of available data indicates Establishing consistent thresholds or numbers of weeds that in most studies. competition studies were often conducted by growing vari- the interval ranges from 3 to 6 weeks. Most studies were 80 conducted with healthy crop stands in 30. tions tend to subside (see Figure 12. In previous years this was val needed before the crop can effectively compete with important so that producers would know how early one later emerging weeds and then progress independently for needed to cultivate between the rows. Does a lower dosage majority of situations.5 2 2. quality. important for providing guidelines in timing postemer- In general. define the critical duration of weed competition in corn Another type of experiment is designed to determine and soybean and to determine the optimal time to imple. years. with 4 to 5 weeks ous populations of weeds from crop and weed emergence being the most frequent range needed. with special emphasis on weather patterns. crop planting or emergence or until certain weed heights 160 Illinois Agronomy Handbook . seeds at various times after crop planting or by removing and it is most likely due to differences in environmental natural weed populations as needed for a specified period. growing prevalence of broadcast. These two methods effect different results. to set a of competition experiments conducted across several states specific weed-free interval that is acceptable with all spe- and over many years suggests that improved techniques cies and across all locations and years. while others began at crop emergence (a poten.7 for an illustration of not in multiple flushes well into the season. as long results compare with a herbicide treatment that lasts the as a range of likely responses is given. here and again later. conditions. tity and quality of crop yield. In sharp contrast. A synthesis conditions. cultivators are not 10 used today nearly as much as they once were. depending on the 90 season and the weather). with no crop quantity. It is also important to note that these rules of thumb were developed with good crop stands increase linearly with increases in weed population up to and. for the most part.7. The weeds were removed at some time after either planting. most of which tend to emerge fairly uniformly. of a herbicide still cause some growth inhibition of later emerging weeds? These and other unanswered questions Lessons from Research suggest extreme caution about pronouncing exact periods Numerous experiments over the years have attempted to that are to apply over a wide variety of conditions. for many of the weed species encountered in gence herbicide applications. as many older her- the remainder of the season. 0 and weed management after crop emergence 0 0. with the most common row crop some population level above which further yield reduc. Figure 12. This should not be surprising. after 50 which the weeds were kept under control by 40 30 crop shading and one or more “lay-by” culti- 20 vations. selective postemergence ful in determining how much time a soil-applied herbicide herbicides. and weather patterns.5 1 1.to 70 40-inch rows. weeds.

This factors in reducing yields. In interpreting the results of these studies. during. Even the best-planned and best- many competition studies is that only one weed species conducted studies can vary considerably from location to is considered.or stages. weed species involved and their respective populations. while oth. Thus lective postemergence herbicides at various weed sizes or this discussion has focused primarily on weed competition. these experiments lead to a range of intervals in coarse-textured soils and soils with low fertility. fertile soils across much of the Corn Belt. tion of competition experiments probably contribute most pete longer. And of special importance is to note whether Competition for light may be one of the most important the weeds were actually controlled completely or not. so again it is difficult to set specific sidual activity to the mixture. More than any other factors. these types of studies are influenced greatly olds for density. herbicide effectiveness. but with most of the soils and controlling either single species or a mixture growing at cropping situations in the Corn Belt. (such as grasses in corn). section. which makes establishing concrete times of competition removal. growth. many of these studies be very difficult to control. by applying se. Under this scenario. duration of weed-free intervals. times. Modern-day studies tend to focus on and has been demonstrated. As will be noted in the next intervals that will be valid over widely diverse conditions. which many consider significantly more important because it is important to note whether the herbicide(s) used pos. and by the environment. whereas producers’ fields often contain a location and year to year. and the ability of the crop the best indicator of loss likely to result from competition. may be been partially due to post-application stress from weeds extremely important in how well the crop is able to recov- that were not controlled or from weeds that emerged after er. be more significant. moisture. Experience conditions. Some research has demonstrated that ditions. the competitive interac- tal weed biomass present at crop flowering and fruiting as tion between crop and weed. Moisture stress. Allelopathy (the suppression of plant growth ers were hand-weeded throughout the season to simulate due to release of natural plant-derived substances) can season-long control. one should be very cautious in setting precise should be applied before this stage in most instances. These conditions affect weed emergence and would suggest that more emphasis should be placed on to. and after initia- earlier. From an applied standpoint. to the detriment of the crop. tant to note. This may become especially tended to show that a moderate population of weeds could important when dealing with weed species where later remain growing with the crop for up 3 to 6 weeks after emergence might be a problem with herbicides that lack planting. the population and mixture of weeds are impor. relatively minor and is very difficult to demonstrate. it deals with plants competing for light. Addi. operate on the conservative side in these matters. allelopathy could be a contribut- tionally. denser weed populations should be removed soil moisture and rainfall before. allelopathy. in the rich. resulting in weeds that would systems need to remember that the whole subject of Weed Management 161 . establish ranges of densities. As a general guideline. while less dense populations can be left to com. It would seem prudent to intervals arduous. Some removed the weeds by hand but allowed termed interference. but Invariably. such as nitrogen. especially during and to pre-application competition stress might actually have after removal of a very dense population of weeds. and once removed. to recover from early weed competition once the weeds However. However. and herbicides undoubtedly conditions. amined with respect to how the competition (weeds) was The total effect of weeds on crop plants is more correctly removed. one needs to consider the variation in the results of these types of experiments. often because of environmental number of species with varying populations. sessed any soil bioactivity that may have provided some and perhaps space. Recommendations often tend to suggest removing weeds can exhibit “luxury consumption” of certain nutri- competition at the average or even slightly earlier time ents. especially with weeds that grow is important since any yield reduction noted and attributed taller than the crop. nutrients. it is thought to be whatever population is present in the field. because potentially adverse conditions might cause delays Those involved with developing weed management in herbicide application. including thresh- reiterate. These types of experiments also have considerable approach might involve adding a herbicide with soil re- variation in results. cause little or no crop yield soil residual activity. and the like and/or to The results of these experiments should also be closely ex. Many do not consider nutrient stress to be as important application. environmental conditions can cause significant In assessing these experiments. growth stages. a problem with to the variation in results. the conservative loss. this is generally well past the stage when control have been removed. soil and air temperature and In general. in dense infestations of weeds control of weeds emerging following application. which is the total of competition plus any weeds that emerged afterward to grow. Primarily because of environmental is possible or even feasible. it may for weed removal that work effectively under various con. To guidelines for crop/weed competition. ing factor to yield loss in addition to competition.

where. Yield and quality loss are not the ferent herbicides and herbicide formulations are commer- only issues being considered by decision makers. label to determine the appropriate application rate. All pesticide products for sale be as important as yield loss indications from crop–weed in Illinois must be registered with the state government. become established without experiencing any negative effects of weed interference. how to determine product equivalents and how to calcu- late amounts of active ingredient applied. These practices often allow the crop to organic matter content. adequate soil fertility and pH. products with are genuine concerns often not addressed in traditional long soil persistence. and any resource utilized by the matter. Herbicide application rates can vary Effective weed management practices include those that according to many factors. cropping rota- much higher levels than what is required based simply on tions. The label is guidance for the duration of weed-free conditions needed considered a legal document. Application rates of postemergence herbicides weed is unavailable for use by the crop. mechanical. and pH. texture. and landlord perceptions. rates are suggested when certain weed species are present and/or when one or more weed species exceed a specified Cultural weed management practices allow the crop to height or number of leaves. Rates for soil-applied herbi- reduce the potential for weeds to adversely impact crop cides are greatly influenced by soil characteristics. Herbicide labels removed with postemergence herbicides. through activities including pulling ingredient(s) does not necessarily mean they are applied weeds. tillage practices. Numerous experiments have investigated the intensity of selection for herbicide-resistant weeds. as related to activity. using a herbicide in a man- after crop emergence and for when weeds should be ner inconsistent with its labeling is illegal. tilling the soil before or after weeds emerge. The most common are often determined by weed species and weed and crop weed management practices in Illinois agronomic crops size. Sole dependence yield losses. Many dif- is widely recognized. so be sure to consult the most current such as producer. In general. while seemingly not simple. The results of these studies can be helpful to those making Product Labels decisions about weed management. Proper crop variety selection Often several different commercially available formu- and planting date. such as growth and yield. The label provides a great ability of various weeds at various densities in the major deal of information about the product. ingredient. heavy- utilize all available resources necessary to achieve its yield textured soils high in organic matter often require a higher potential. and products with no soil residual competition research. often necessitate weed control at based on multiple factors. Integrating mul- weed management expectations. Herbicides applied at labeled rates should provide good weed control during the season of use while minimizing the potential for in-season crop injury and carryover into Weed Management Practices the following season. may label when using a product. The selection of which herbicide to use should be landowner perceptions. change frequently. selective and nonselective products. crop–weed competition from a variety of aspects. and weed species. Weeds require many of the same resources for application rate than course-textured soils lower in organic growth as crop plants. Product guarantees and respray programs on herbicides may not necessarily provide the most eco- have also contributed to extraordinarily high levels of nomical or sustainable weed management. and in what quantity. as guidelines can be Every herbicide product commercially available is re- prepared that indicate in general the relative competitive quired by law to have a label. neighbor. higher application include cultural.crop–weed competition. competition studies in determining the types of weed Application Rates management systems implemented. Keep in mind Mechanical weed management involves physical distur- that just because two or more products contain the same bance of the weeds. tiple practices reduces the likelihood of poor weed control due to unfavorable environmental conditions and reduces In summary. The fact that weed management decisions are made not only based on Herbicides are often the primary tools of choice for weed true crop–weed competition but on other factors as well management across most acres of the Midwest. Other concerns. including soils. Much of the following text will demonstrate lated to improve the competitive ability of the crop. Esthetic thresholds. including how it crops of the Midwest. Chemical Weed Control is even more complex in the marketplace. Harvest cially available. These experiments also provide is to be applied. and at the same rates. 162 Illinois Agronomy Handbook . including soil-applied and foliar-applied difficulties and additions of weed seed to the soil seedbank products. For some postemergence products. and chemical approaches. Always consult the respective product mowing. and crop lations or premixes contain the same herbicide active row spacing are examples of factors that can be manipu.

For example. and lactofen are the common names of the active ingredients contained in the commercial products Valor. ling target weeds. There are several ways to define formulation. describing its chemical composition. either by common name (for example. although they have important indicates that the active ingredient (bentazon) is formu. such as making the active chemical name (for example.3EC contains 3. allowing the active acid). These and sometimes they are recycled (for example. Basagran.25 gal- more than one trade name may be used for a particular ac. etc. AAtrex 90DF contains 0. but it rarely is the only component in a The active ingredient is always identified on the pesticide gallon or a pound of commercial herbicide. Salvo is the trade name of a herbicide with x = gal of product per acre the active ingredient known by the common name 2. common. and Usually when a herbicide trade name is followed by a a given herbicide active ingredient may be available in number and letter designation (4L. Formulations are often des- Weed Management 163 . These other components of a amount of active ingredient contained in a gallon or pound herbicide formulation are generally listed as inert ingre- of formulated product. Yukon. Several types of herbicide formulations are available. and chemical. it is often the name most of active ingredient (pendimethalin) per gallon of formu- familiar to users. given product use rate. These names are typically trademarked by the manufacturer so that no Many herbicide labels restrict the maximum amount of other company can use them. So. and Cobra. imazamox. 7EC. 75DF. x gal or lb of product tazon. respectively.90 pounds of active ingredient (atrazine) per pound of Trade names. and aiding herbicide information about how the product is formulated and the uptake through plant leaves.4‑dichlorophenoxyacetic Types of Formulation acid. Herbicide chemical names may not be as familiar as trade names or common names. and Prowl 3. lb active ingredient Flumioxazin. whose chemical name in turn is 2.4‑D. This is one of the easiest: Common names. Basa- more names. but in es- Active Ingredients sence it consists of the active ingredient and all associated The active ingredient of a pesticide formulation is the components that make up the commercially available component responsible for its toxicity (phytotoxicity in the product. Several calculations can be used to rely on the trade name to know what active ingredient(s) a determine the amount of active ingredient applied at a product contains. product to be used per application and/or per year. the more than one formulation.25 gal of product applied = common names. halosulfuron plus dicamba. Option was maximum rates are generally presented in terms of the once the trade name of a soybean herbicide but is now the total amount of active ingredient that can be applied per trade name of a corn herbicide). Common names are listed on applied per acre acre the product label. Each common name is unique to a lb active ingredient gal or lb of product applied = particular active ingredient. lon) per acre of product is: tive ingredient. 4 pounds active ingredient.4‑dichlorphenoxyacetic ingredient safer and easier to handle. The trade name is the name under which formulated product. the Basagran label dients on the product label. Other ingre- label. 4 lb active ingredient 1 lb active ingredient For example. a chemical name is unique to a particular acre active ingredient. Trade names come and go. Like 0. Raptor. Basagran. lated product. applied per acre Chemical names. common names remain constant irrespec- lb of bentazon (active ingredient) tive of trade names.). per gallon of formulated product. Yukon. for example.Nomenclature number indicates the pounds of active ingredient in a gal- Across its lifetime a herbicide active ingredient may be lon (for liquid formulations) or a pound (for dry formula- sold by one or more companies and identified by one or tions) of the formulated product. Examples of trade names include Valor. So if we apply this equation to Basagran 4L. The active ingredient statement may also include ingredient to easily mix with water. ben. While of active ingredient (bentazon) applied at 2 pints (0. 2. atrazine) or dients serve various functions. usually in the active ingredient section. the amount Raptor. and Cobra. The active ingredient is responsible for control- case of herbicides) or its ability to control the target pest. functions in making the active ingredient work as in- lated as the sodium salt.3 pounds a product is commercially sold. and 1 gallon of Basagran contains tended. You thus cannot always acre and/or per year. The three most common categories of names gran 4L contains 4 pounds of active ingredient (bentazon) are trade.

4 D parent acid. Type of formulation Description of formulation Flowable or aqueous suspension (F. ate.4‑D-containing products of par. but the ability of a charged molecule to penetrate and enter the rather acid equivalent per gallon or pound. the acid equivalents of the are amines and esters. tions). respectively. Figure 12. weed species in turf. however. sity of landscapes. but not all formula. sons between the amine Figure 12.4 provides The molecule is considered a weak acid because the car. soil by rainfall for root O uptake (an important 2.4‑D acid of derivatives). Liquid formulation containing finely ground solids suspended in a liquid L.4‑D. The isooctyl ester is a very a derivative of the parent acid? An illustration using 2. for example) that theoretically could the leaf. Cl some general compari- boxyl hydrogen atom (the one to the far right) can dissoci. and it is frequently a component For example. Each type has unique characteristics O CH2 C OH characteristic in certain that can influence where and how a particular product is Cl brush-control applica- used.4‑D. originally discov. salt is perhaps the most common amine formulation. The two most common derivatives of 2. The herbicide is a popular tool among As previously mentioned.4‑D ester. the number preced. like waxes. 2. Dry formulation in which the active ingredient is sorbed onto aggregated granular particles ible granule (WDG or DG) Dry flowable (DF) Dry formulation very similar to water-dispersible granules Wettable powder (WP or W) A finely ground dry formulation (often mineral clays) onto which the active ingredient is sorbed Granule (G) Dry formulation in which the active ingredient is coated onto an inert granule. the acid molecule is with their abbreviations. amine. salts. Why would a herbicide (one alcohol. Common examples of herbicide formulations. ready to use without diluting in a liquid carrier ignated on product labels as single or two-letter abbrevia. physical and chemical properties different from the par- Another definition is the theoretical yield of parent acid ent acid. The waxy cuticle that covers the leaf surface ing the formulation designation (L. and ester formulations 164 Illinois Agronomy Handbook .4‑D.) indicates is composed of many noncharged substances that reduce not pounds of active ingredient per gallon or pound. such as increased ability to penetrate through a from a pesticide active ingredient that has been formulated waxy leaf or increased water solubility for enhanced root as a derivative (esters. Acid equivalent plant. loving”) substances. Table 12. able than amines to penetrate the waxy leaf surface of One characteristic of 2. esters are better tions and products are identical. The more common herbicide formulations. esters and amine salt formulations. For example. In the tions. and amines are examples uptake. these different types of deriva- homeowners for selectively controlling certain broadleaf tives impart different characteristics to the formulation. weeds. very soluble in water but is not readily absorbed through Acid equivalents. Many commercially available 2. cially available. whereas amines are more easily moved into the ticular importance is the type of formulation. DF.4‑D while amines are more soluble in hydrophilic (“water- formulations and trade names exist.4‑D products are available as one of three formulations: acid.8. are presented in Table 12.4‑D are Esters are formed by reacting the parent acid with an 66% and 88%. These alterations produce derivatives that have be converted back to the corresponding or parent acid. Other The herbicide active ingredient 2.8 illustrates the chemical structure of 2. along dissociated (negatively charged) form. the isooctyl ester formulation is more soluble of burndown herbicide applications in no-till agronomic in hydrophobic (“water-avoiding”) substances. In some instances. Table 12. while amine salts are formed when the parent that has the acid as the parent molecule) be formulated as acid is reacted with an amine.3. and the ammonium follows. continues to show utility across a diver. cropping situations. Somehow altering the parent acid form can influ- may be defined as that portion of a formulation (as in the ence how quickly and thoroughly it enters a plant through case of 2. EC. or ester. Most often. isooctyl and ethyl acetate ester formulations of 2.3. etc. In practical terms. imparting a net negative charge to the molecule. are commer- ered in the 1940s. or AS) Water-soluble concentrate Liquid formulations that form a true solution when added to water Emulsifiable concentrate (EC or E) Liquid formulation containing solvents and emulsifiers that disperse the active ingredient in water Water-dispersible granule or dispers. a plant leaf.4‑D common ester formulation of 2.

while others list only active ingredient. Some labels Preferred formulation for in-crop (i.8) that acts at the target site within tion rates and the pounds of active ingredient per gallon the plant. the Less preferred formulation for no-till Preferred formulation for no-till burndown acid equivalent)? burndown applications applications The first step is to determine the Reduced probability of crop injury Greater probability of crop injury following amount of acid equivalent in a gallon following postemergence application postemergence application of formulated product. For example. ester formu. These comparisons are somewhat relative since formulation. Figure Assume that both the two-carbon and eight-carbon ester 12. is required to determine Does not mix well with liquid fertilizers More compatible with liquid fertilizers the amount of acid applied (i.9 and 12.4.9 shows the parent acid formulated with a two-carbon formulations (Figures 12. it is the rate for both products is 1 pint per acre.4 D. ent applied are the same for the two Amine salt Ester formulations. it is the parent acid that binds to the Low solubility in oils and waxes Higher solubility in oils and waxes target site to control the weed. Figure 12. ingredient. and Figure 12. calculations of “equivalency” should be based on the amount of acid equivalent con. then.10 shows an eight-carbon side commercially available and that each formulation contains chain. not the active ingredients. Also remember that different derivatives O CH2 C O CH2 CH3 can impact the amount of active ingredient contained in Cl a quantity of formulated product. Remember.e. 2.10. the actual volatility potential of the ester formulation is influenced by the length of the ester chain (the number of O carbon atoms). 2.4-D ethyl acetate ester. and the second has eight carbons forming the ester. but formulations. For this example. Comparisons between amine and ester formulations of 2. the calculation would be based lations are considered more volatile (the change from a on the acid equivalents. using ester formulations of 2. of the liquid state to a vapor state) than amine formulations. The parent acid is Cl the same in these two formulations.9.4-D. Since the applica- parent acid (Figure 12.e. The application modify some aspect of herbicide performance. diagrams.of 2.4‑D. parent acid each contained.4‑D as examples. Isooctyl ester of 2.. but these by performing the calculations previously illustrated for atoms do not increase the amount of parent acid in the determining the amount of active ingredient applied. To accurately compare among various products. The chain O length of the ester can vary.4‑D can be formulated as various esters. These can be visualized in several Figure 12. the Slow absorption into plant leaves Faster absorption into plant leaves ester portion of the formulation is not No or very low volatility potential Low to high volatility potential involved in binding to the target site. If these formulations were commercially the specific type of amine salt or ester chain length can available. Cl consider two ester formulations of 2. and someone wanted to know how much of the influence some characteristics. the only difference is the length of the ester.8 illustrates the parent acid of 2. respectively) are side chain. Verify this amount of active ingredient of a formulation.10. Clear or slightly amber colored in water Milky when mixed in water What.. If the pounds acid Weed Management 165 . the amount of active chain add weight to the formulation and may increase the ingredient applied would be the same for each.4‑D: the first has CH2 CH3 only two carbon atoms forming the ester. the amounts of acid High water solubility Generally insoluble in water applied are not the same. An example follows of how to calculate acid equivalents. The additional carbon atoms of the ester side are identical for the two formulations. but it is most commonly O CH2 C O CH2 CH CH2 CH2 CH2 CH3 eight carbon atoms long (isooctyl ester).e. Cl tained in the formulation rather than the amount of active Figure 12.4‑D. While the carbon atoms of the side chain may 4 pounds of active ingredient per gallon.. indicate the amounts of both active corn) applications when air temperatures corn) applications when air temperatures ingredient and acid equivalent in a exceed 85 °F exceed 85 °F formulation. Even though the amounts of active ingredi- Table 12. Less preferred formulation for in-crop (i.

acid equivalent = x 100 = 66% 333. each product is applied at 1 pint (0.04 – 1 was applied with the two-carbon ester formulation. The amounts of acid (that part of the acre is to substitute pounds acid equivalent for pounds formulation that actually controls the weed) applied for active ingredient in the equation presented previously for each formulation are not equal. 250.52 lb ae mercially available for use in agronomic crops.64 lb ae When selecting one of these products for weed control.25 Since the commercialization of glyphosate-resistant soybean varieties in 1996. Thus. to the tank. all one need tive ingredient per gallon. more than 50 such products are registered for use in Illinois agronomic crops. the amount of acid equivalent in one gallon of for- mulated product is: If only one formulation of a salt or ester product is com- mercially available. how much the molecule lb of acid equivalent 0. Currently. Keeping track 66% acid equivalent x of product names and formulations can be daunting. There are. and because each formulation contains 4 pounds ac. and that 4 lb active ingredient number is expected to continue increasing.4‑D acid is 221.. or does the formulation contain a “built-in” 166 Illinois Agronomy Handbook . but currently this is the only salt formulation com- = 3. containing products commercially available has increased lated product is: dramatically.4‑D acid is ap- The acid equivalent of the two-carbon ester formulation plied with the two-carbon ester formulation than with the is: eight-carbon formulation.04 – 1 based on acid equivalent rather than active ingredient.4‑D and glyphosate. the number of glyphosate- Thus.64 lb ae 0.4‑D label indicates the ester formulation is: amount of acid equivalent.02 (weight of the two carbons and five hydrogens) + gal of product per acre 221. gal = 2. several commercial formulations of 2.equivalent is specified on the product label.125 gal of product applied The formula that can be used to calculate the amount of = applied per acre acre acid equivalent in a gallon of formulated product is: molecular weight of the acid – 1 3. more of the part of the formulation that actually controls the weeds 221. assume that neither 2. To acid equivalent = x 100 = 88% compare the herbicidally active portion of two ester. The molecular weight of the eight-carbon ester formulation is 333. product equivalents should be calculated on the acid equivalent. lb of acid equivalent 0.04. The molecular weight of the two-carbon ester formulation is 2. keep several important considerations in mind: How much acid equivalent (ae) does the formulation contain? Should Again.04 (weight of the parent acid) = 250. so to determine equivalent is: rates among different formulations. calculating the pounds active ingredient applied. salt. For this The amount of acid applied per acre with the two-carbon example.06 or amine formulations.25.125 gallon) per a spray additive (such as nonionic surfactant) be added acre.44 lb ae acid equivalent = x = molecular weight of the salt or ester gal of product per acre x 100 The amount of acid applied per acre with the eight-car- bon formulation is: Some molecular weights (i.52 lb ae 0. In practical terms. however.e. it wouldn’t really matter if one cal- 4 lb active ingredient culated active ingredient or acid equivalent.33 lb ae x = 29. calculations should be 221. 88% acid equivalent x Pursuit is formulated as the ammonium salt of imazetha- gal pyr. the amounts of active ingredient do to determine the pounds acid equivalent applied per applied are equal. Not all of these formulations contain the same The acid equivalent of the eight-carbon ester formulation amount of acid equivalent. the amount of acid equivalent in 1 gallon of formu. The = applied per acre acre molecular weight of the parent 2.125 gal of product applied weighs) are needed to complete these calculations.06. For example. This example demonstrates that more 2.

= $0. Figure 12.1699/fl oz lent basis. “Glyfo A.5 lb per acre).13 less with Glyfo lowest cost per acre (for purposes of this example. x x acre 3 lb ae gallon A good starting point might be to define the term stereo- isomer.75 lb ae/acre can be very effective on many broadleaf and grass species.75 a gallon.” a potassium salt. 0.additive system? Are factors such as rain-free interval and Glyfo A: toxicity category similar in the products you are consider- $23.75 lb ae 1 gal 128 fl oz are relevant in today’s weed management arena. how can you compare costs? Should price comparisons be based simply on cost per gallon of formu. convert the price per gallon for each product to price per fluid ounce.31/acre fl oz acre rate. Finally.1699 32 fl oz illustrate these calculations follows. determine fluid ounces needed to achieve an application rate of 0. one chlorine atom is positioned Weed Management 167 . Table 12.75 lb ae/acre: on the amount of acid equivalent per gallon. 128 fl oz To compare prices among glyphosate-containing products Finally. multiply cost per fluid ounce by the number of you need to do a few simple calculations.44/acre fl oz acre You decide to apply a glyphosate-containing product at 0. First. Next. gallon of Glyfo B. Glyfo B: lated product? As in determining equivalent application $21.00 ing? Once these questions have been answered and you = $0. put together in slightly different arrangements. that list the amount of acid equivalent in many commer- cially available glyphosate formulations. but they are becoming increasingly common in the marketplace. a rate of 0. additive requirements.75 lb ae 1 gal 128 fl oz x x Herbicide isomers. “Glyfo tained in a given formulation may seem the most daunting B. A small amount of chemistry can help explain stereoisomers and how they 0.11 illustrates a 5-carbon ring molecule with two chlo- rine atoms attached to it.375–1. For lb ae/acre: well-timed applications.75 rates.25 more than a inches tall. x = $5.5 com- Start by calculating how many fluid ounces are needed for pares a number of glyphosate-containing products based an application rate of 0. The table also Glyfo A: lists the amount of product (in fluid ounces) needed to ap- ply a range of acid equivalents (0.1797/fl oz have narrowed down the list of products you’re interested 128 fl oz in purchasing.75 lb ae/acre rate for Glyfo B: each product by the cost per fluid ounce. One isomer of a particular active ingredient is generally much more Glyfo B: herbicidally active than the other isomer.11 and Figure 12. An example to $0. contains 3 lb ae per gallon and part of this exercise.75 lb ae/acre when most broadleaf weeds are 4 to 6 So while a gallon of Glyfo A costs $1. Determining how many pounds of acid equivalent are con- contains 4 lb ae per gallon and costs $23 a gallon. multiply the number of fluid ounces needed to achieve the 0.1797 24 fl oz many fluid ounces of each product are needed for this x = $4.75 what rate to apply based on weed spectrum and size. are identical for each product). Once Glyfo A: you have determined the application rate. Figure per fluid ounce: 12. assume A than with Glyfo B. In = 24 fl oz essence. but several references are available costs $21. Stereoisomers are molecules that have the same = 32 fl oz atoms bonded to each other but differ in how the atoms are arranged in space.12 will Next. calculate how $0. if any are required by label. You are deciding between two glyphosate.” an isopropylamine salt. divide the price per gallon by 128 to determine price serve as examples for the following discussion. producers should compare prices on an acid equiva. calculating costs on an acid equivalent containing products and want to know which offers the basis reveals that the per-acre cost is $1. Herbicide isomers may not be very acre 4 lb ae gal familiar to weed management practitioners. herbicide isomers are variations of a molecule.

Bicep Lite II Magnum) still contain the same active chlorine atoms in Figure 12. hypo- thetically. Bicep Lite and Bicep Lite II).12.4 4 12 18 24 36 48 only. The same 5-carbon ring as shown in Figure hold. added to the original formulation to reduce the potential So how is a differential orientation of atoms or substituent for adverse crop response. Glyphosate-containing herbicides. You cannot rotate your of metolachlor.5 17 23 35 46 manufacture certain herbicides results in a com- 5. application Cl Cl rates are reduced approximately 35% compared with the original formulation.5 11 16 21 32 43 bination of isomers (that is.5 26 39 52 use a product containing the Figure 12.5 4.11 is more 4 3 16 24 32 48 64 herbicidally active than the molecule depicted in Figure 12. Acid equiva- 0.12 were herbicides. a mixture of the two 6. Say.16 5 10 14 19 29 38 molecules) in the commercially available formula- tion. below. One might reason dient/gal lent/gal fl oz that if the molecule depicted in Figure 12. So what is a practical Figure 12. designated the R-isomer. An example of stereoisomer chemistry in weed above the plane of the ring.13 1. and numbers of atoms and differ only in the orientation In the 1990s. one implication of having a formulation containing more of positioned above the plane of the ring and the other below. the process used to 5.14 4.11 “Magnum” formulations (Dual II Magnum.375 0.) Application rates for these groups (i. The If. improvements in technology allowed manu- of one or more atoms or groups.12 shows the same 5-carbon ring with Metolachlor first became commercially available during the same two chlorine atoms. 50:50 mixture of the active (S) and inactive (R) isomers but they are assembled differently. Table 12. 168 Illinois Agronomy Handbook . differential orientations facturers to increase the amount of active (S) isomer in a can greatly affect the biological activity of the molecules. The are positioned above the plane of the ring.75 1. bind much more effectively at the herbicide target Product rate equivalent to site within the plant.17 11. stereoisomers) relevant to weed management? “nonresolved” formulations were determined based on this Even though two molecules may have the same types 50:50 mixture of active and inactive isomers. whereas the orientation of the (lb acid equivalent/A) chlorine atoms in Figure 12. and vice versa. for example. while the other is positioned management is the active ingredient metolachlor.12 might not allow this Active ingre.56 0. the active isomer? Since a higher proportion of the active isomer is present in the Magnum formulations. Dual stereoisomers.12. Specifically. the 100 molecules of Dual II would be 50 active mol- 12.5 isomer to bind the target site at all.11 might cause that isomer to ingredient(s) as always.11. but here both chlorine atoms are positioned above ecules (the S or resolved isomer) and 50 inactive molecules the plane of the ring.11 molecule 5. is much more herbicid- atoms differs. Perhaps another illustration will be of value. you were to count out 100 molecules from a container of Dual II and 100 molecules from a container of Dual II Magnum. Each molecule process used to manufacture Dual resulted in two isomers contains the same number of atoms—5 carbon and 2 of metolachlor present in the commercial formulation. it would be better to manufacture or 5 3. One chlorine—but the spatial arrangement of the chlorine isomer.5.. Bicep II Mag- and Figure 12. formulation. Figure 12.e. but here both chlorine atoms the 1970s and was sold under the trade name Dual. Assuming the rules of probability Figure 12.68 13 19. Bicep and Bicep II. designated the S-isomer. which is what differentiates this pair of ally active than the other. and Dual II became Dual II Magnum. A 5-carbon ring with two chlorine atoms. (Dual became Dual II when a safener was right hand to make it a left hand. An analogy of stereoisomers is a person’s and the subsequent product Dual II each contained a two hands. but they now contain a higher proportion of the active or resolved (S) isomer compared Cl with the older formulations (Dual and Dual II. the molecules depicted in Figure 12. the orientation of the num. While this notion is valid.11. the Magnum formulations contain an 88:12 mixture of the active (S):inactive (R) isomers compared with a 50:50 mixture of the active (S):inactive (R) isomers found in Cl the Dual and Dual II formulations. each hand consists of the same components.

including a broader weed control spectrum from the Dual formulation. Currently there are many metolachlor and S-metolachlor The second column also indicates the amount of active products on the market. the amounts of molecules of Dual or Dual II (50:50 mixture) to get 50 the active isomer applied can vary considerably. metolachlor-containing herbicide (50:50 mixture of S and Herbicide premixes can be confusing with respect to R isomers) while Figure 12. A droplet taken from a container of a re- resolved metolachlor-containing herbicide (50:50 mixture solved metolachlor-containing herbicide (88:12 mixture of of S and R isomers). to weed control. you would apply less active isomer per acre advantages. molecules of S-metolachlor. For example. Combining two or more active you were to apply the same product rate of Dual and Dual ingredients in a formulated product can provide several II Magnum. applying the same rate of each product necessarily results if 50 molecules of S-metolachlor (the active isomer) are in applying the same amount of active ingredient or active needed to achieve control of a particular weed species.14 was taken from a container components. Note the higher proportion of S letters letters. product equivalents. Herbicide premixes are commer- 57 total molecules of Dual II Magnum (88:12 mixture) to cially formulated products containing more than one get 50 molecules of S-metolachlor.14 illustrate this concept. Figure 12. the components. including equivalent amounts of and the fourth column indicates how much of each active S S R S S S S S S R S R S R R R S S R S S S S S S R S S S S S S S S R S R R S S S S R R S R SR R S S S R R R S S S S S R S R S S S S S R S S S S R R S S S S R Figure 12. II Magnum would be 88 active and 12 inactive molecules.13 was taken from a container of a nonresolved separately and mixing them. formulations. One should not assume that lachlor molecules needed for weed control. it should be noted that while apply- how many total molecules of Dual/Dual II and Dual II ing the same product rates of an S-metolachlor-containing Magnum would you need in order to apply at least 50 product and metolachlor-containing product can provide molecules of S-metolachlor? You would need 100 total similar amounts of total active ingredient. it takes less Dual II Magnum than either Table 12.13 and Figure 12. or simply the rates allowed by the respective product label. and the second provides the common names for This information should help those who purchase herbi. whereas you would need only Herbicide premixes. Each circle contains the same number of total available corn herbicide premixes used in Illinois. application rates. metolachlor or S-metolachlor. and of a resolved metolachlor formulation (88:12 mixture of other factors. For example. A droplet taken from a container of a non. Table 12. Note the equal numbers of S and R S and R isomers).13.14. equivalent amounts of active isomers. herbicide. than any individual component has alone. The molecules (designated S and R). Fig.6 lists several examples of products containing Dual or Dual II to obtain the critical number of S-meto.(the R or unresolved isomer). Weed Management 169 . reduced poten- Figure 12. defined several ways. For example. Stated another way. isomer. and there appears to be some ingredient (or sometimes acid equivalent) of each compo- confusion about product equivalents among these many nent per gallon or pound of formulated product. Assuming the unresolved isomer doesn’t contribute much These are not always synonymous or interchangeable. relative to R letters.7 compares two commercially S and R). and The circles represent equal volumes of herbicide. The 100 molecules of Dual active ingredients. Harness Xtra (trade name) cides made up of stereoisomers better understand some of 5. if herbicide active ingredient. equivalent rates may be The third column lists an application rate for each premix. reduced cost compared with purchasing the components ure 12. tial for physical or chemical incompatibility problems. In particular. acetochlor (common name) and atrazine (common name).6L (formulation) is composed of the active ingredients the differences among commercially available products. but a different proportion first column lists the trade name and formulation of the of S and R isomers.

6L acetochlor = 3.55 lb ai acetochlor 1 gal Harness x component when applied at the application rate listed acre 7 lb ai in the third column.1 lb atrazine = 1.5 pt 2. convert 2 quarts to gallons: Principles of Soil-Applied Herbicides 2 qt 1 gal x = 0.25 lb ai acetochlor per acre products are usually expressed in ounces. For example.835 “Generic II” brand metolachlor 7.94 lb aceto. The 2.814 ingredient is applied at that application rate.5 lb atrazine = 1. tive ingredient amounts: The last column lists product equivalents for each premix 1. calculate how much acetochlor and atrazine active (PPI).5-quart rate of Harness Xtra 5.13 pints of gal AAtrex 4L. 0.77 pt Harness 7E contained in 2.59 1. active ingredients are usu- ally expressed in units of pounds active ingredient or acid Finally.64 lb 88:12 1. tions are typically made several weeks prior to planting and are more common in corn fields than soybean fields.5 qt acetochlor = 1.5 gal 3.7.67 pt 1.56 lb atrazine active ingredi- ent.and S-metolachlor-containing herbicides.6L.67 pt 1.7 is 2. PRE applications are generally made = 1. Early preplant (EPP). Note here that while application rates of commercial = 1.6L provides 1.21 pt atrazine = 2.1 lb ai acetochlor x PPI applications were once very common.8 lb 50:50 2. Comparison of two herbicide premixes. 1.21 pints of Harness 7E and 3.6L. respectively. and preemergence (PRE) surface are the most com- ingredient are contained in 0.67 pt 1.25 Dual II metolachlor 7.26 pt Harness Xtra 5.67 pt 1. but they have acre gal declined in recent years with the growing adoption of conservation tillage.32 pt atrazine = 3.5 quarts of Harness Xtra 5.5 pt AAtrex 4L atrazine are applied at a 2-quart rate of Harness Xtra 5.25 lb ai acetochlor 1 gal Harness The application rate of Harness Xtra 5. determine product equivalents based on these ac- equivalent per acre. gal First.62 0.399 Dual II Magnum S-metolachlor 7.59 1.5 quarts per acre. or quarts of product per acre.5 1.5 quarts. EPP applica- 5. You have applied Active R:S If you apply Active ingredient/ mixture (product/ lb active Product ingredient gal (ratio) A): lb/ai isomer Dual metolachlor 8 lb 50:50 2. Metolachlor.56 lb AAtrex 4L = 3.1 lb 2.43 1.1 qt S-metolachlor = 1.403 “Generic I” brand metolachlor 8 lb 50:50 1.6L provides the same amount of acetochlor and atrazine 8 pt x = 1. Regardless of when or Table 12.62 lb 88:12 1.5 gal Soil-applied herbicides remain an important part of weed acre 4 qt management programs in corn and soybean production systems.4 lb 2. x acre gal chlor active ingredient and 1.6.63 lb AAtrex 4L = 3.5L S-metolachlor = 2.67 0.26 lb Dual II Magnum 7. Table 12.5 pt 2. suppose someone would like to know how much acetochlor and 8 pt x = 2. preplant incorporated Next. 0. Components If you Herbicide (ai/gal or lb) apply/A: You have applied (ai): Product equivalents: Bicep II Magnum 5.5 gallon of Harness Xtra mon types of herbicide applications to soil.13 pt 170 Illinois Agronomy Handbook . pounds.5 lb ai acetochlor 2.94 lb Harness 7E = 2.5 gal 2.218 Dual Magnum S-metolachlor 7.6L listed in Table x acre 4 lb ai 12.8 lb 50:50 1. Instead of 2. pints.55 lb ai acetochlor per acre within one week of crop planting.64E = 1.

comprising their cuticles and are thus more difficult to wet. Many postemergence herbicide labels recommend availability of herbicides remaining on the soil surface.” that restricts the amount of water lost by the germinate from fairly shallow depths in the soil. may also reduce the effectiveness of soil-applied herbi- For a soil-applied herbicide to be effective. Soil-applied herbicides do not prevent Postemergence herbicides are a key part of an integrated weed seed germination. the soil solution. The type and amount of wax that incorporation. To achieve weed control with postemergence herbicides. may also suggest that users delay applications if weeds are under “adverse environmental conditions. Herbicide that remains on a dry soil sur. Generally. can be achieved. the herbicide must be in the soil solution or particular field. but generally 1/2 to ally have more wax or a different structure of the wax 1 inch of rain within 7 to 10 days is sufficient. more mature sunlight) are two common processes that can reduce the plants. Which method is tively limit water movement out of the leaf (transpiration) more consistent? Precipitation provides for fairly uniform or into it (absorption). Volatility (the change from a liquid to gaseous postemergence herbicides. temperature are other factors that influence absorption of ability. in particular small-seeded ones. while photolysis is made to larger plants. but they soil-applied herbicides is influenced by several factors. and finally induce some phytotoxic response. If.how a herbicide is applied to the soil. the effectiveness of Dry soil conditions are conducive for planting. smaller plants usually state) and photolysis (degradation due to absorption of absorb herbicide more rapidly than older.. substances that effec- by mechanical methods or precipitation. associated with soil (such as texture and organic matter solved into the soil solution are by mechanical incorporation content). Herbicides on the soil surface Plant age and size. adequately move the herbicide into plant. in most instances. The plant cuticle serves as an outer protective layer. some the level of weed control can be expected to decline. If herbicide applications are made prior to plant- available for uptake by the weed seedling (usually before ing and no precipitation is received between application the seedling emerges. Younger. organic matter can reduce the amount of herbicide available Principles of Postemergence Herbicides for weed absorption. rather. Applications made after the root or shoot of the seedling and then exert their phy. soil moisture. it needs to be cides. barrier that limits herbicide absorption. no precipitation is received between application the herbicide must come in contact with the target.e. of them described in subsequent paragraphs. crops and weeds have emerged allow for identifying the totoxic effect. relative humidity. however. be and planting. Postemergence herbicide applications vapor phase (i. or Many weed species. control and is subject to various dissipation processes. too deeply in the soil. to planting may help preserve much of the herbicide’s ef- Processes such as herbicide adsorption to soil colloids or fectiveness. How is this achieved? minimize the interactions of the herbicide with factors The most common methods for herbicides to become dis. but mechanical incorporation reduces the comprises the cuticle influences the degree of wetting that absolute dependence on receiving timely precipitation. this happens before the seedling weed species present and assessing the severity of infes- emerges from the soil. and the cuticle is often considered the primary germination and should thus be the target area for herbi. an available form). The cuticle is com- cide placement. applications be made when target weeds are small and Volatility potential is determined by several properties of caution about reduced effectiveness if applications are the soil and the herbicide formulation. they are first absorbed by weed management program. Shallow incorporation can be achieved posed primarily of waxes and cutin. but they often magnify interactions between the or precipitation. to increase the likelihood that sufficient precipitation will be received before planting to incorporate the herbicide. a shallow mechanical incorporation prior control small emerged weeds under certain conditions). application it should be received for optimal herbicide Older plants and plants under environmental stress gener- performance depends on many factors. EPP applications in no-till systems attempt herbicide and prevailing environmental conditions. “barrier. and this composition can change with How much precipitation is needed and how soon after plant age and in response to changes in the environment. be able to reach the site of action within the plant. or those placed is to enhance herbicide penetration through the cuticle. but some soil-applied herbicides can and planting. The top plant through transpiration. It also serves a variety of other 1 to 2 inches of soil is the primary zone of weed seed functions. and are subjected to several processes that reduce their avail. One of the main functions of certain spray additives Herbicides remaining on the soil surface. If for any face after application may not provide much effective weed reason one or more of these steps is restricted or limited. mechanical incorporation (where feasible) retained on the leaf surface prior to absorption into the will. may not be intercepted by the emerging weed seedlings. For a herbicide to be absorbed by tation so that herbicide selection can be tailored to the weed seedlings. Labels of postemergence herbicides dependent primarily on herbicide properties.” Examples Weed Management 171 .

5 to 1 but somewhat less important with translocated herbicides. and ammonium fertilizer salts. Nearly all herbicide labels. reducing the number enhance herbicide absorption into weeds. These are used to ing absorption and are commonly referred to as “contact” increase the effect of the herbicide on the target plants. while translocated herbicides often specify the addi- vest interval reduces the likelihood of herbicide residue tion of UAN or AMS to NIS or COC. adequate soil moisture. quarts of dilute forms (1% to 2% active ingredient). list rotational crop applied with a liquid fertilizer spray carrier. which enhancing herbicide performance on certain weed species. The two most common ammonium fertilizers used bels of some products indicate both a developmental stage are ammonium sulfate (AMS) and urea ammonium nitrate and a preharvest interval. crop oil concentrates plant. and are favorable for enhanced absorption into the crop. pint per acre. but they do not move nearly as exten. the prehar. Oils increase tion to preharvest intervals. cial herbicide formulation or are added to the spray mixture high relative humidity.5 to 17 pounds the amount of time that must elapse between herbicide ap. following absorption. thus increasing spray coverage. such potential. so they are herbicides. La. COC. Herbicide intervals that specify the time that must elapse between labels often specify a “jar test” to determine the need for herbicide application and planting a rotational crop. there are restrictions on many spray penetration through the leaf cuticle. Additives are Buffer-surfactants or buffer-compatibility agents compounds added to a herbicide formulation or spray contain organic phosphatic acids that provide an acidify- 172 Illinois Agronomy Handbook . Almost every postemergence herbicide has a preharvest Ammonium fertilizer adjuvants are added to increase interval specified on the label or a crop developmental herbicide activity on certain weed species. or fields may be grazed as forage. UAN is used at 2 to 4 plication and crop harvest. herbicides. The rate is usually 1 to 4 pints per 100 gallons of applications.5% to 1% by volume. such as improving herbicide cide absorption. (COC). Some of the most common additives for postemergence her- Postemergence herbicides vary in their mobility within the bicides are nonionic surfactants (NIS). 0. while others are influenced by different factors. Drift reduction agents are added to the spray tank to Some herbicide rotational restrictions are based solely on reduce small droplet formation and thus minimize drift time. petroleum (POC) or vegetable (VOC) origin. The oil may be of residue in the crop in excess of established limits. Contact herbicides do show some movement frequently referred to as spreaders or wetting agents. especially for soil-residual herbicides that are soil-applied and postemergence. likelihood that sufficient herbicide residues will persist in the soil that could adversely affect the rotational crop. Such intervals are established to reduce the spray mix. conditions also of very small droplets so as to reduce physical drift.of such adverse environmental conditions may include pro. both mixing. or 0. mixture that in some way modify the characteristics of the longed periods without significant precipitation (resulting spray solution. On the other hand. but some may specify one or crop may be used for livestock feed or whether treated the other only. Most herbicide postemergence herbicides labels about whether the treated labels allow POC or VOC. A preharvest interval indicates (UAN) solution (28-0-0). The use rate per 100 gallons of spray is gener- as soil pH and the amount of precipitation received after ally 2 to 10 fluid ounces of concentrated forms and 2 to 4 herbicide application. perform different functions. remaining on the harvested portion of the crop. Failure Crop oil concentrates are phytobland oils with emulsi- to observe the preharvest interval may result in herbicide fiers added to allow mixing with water. Another interval that is important to observe is the Compatibility agents are spray additives that improve rotational crop interval. per 100 gallons of spray solution. In addi. may result in crop injury. Others can move extensively within the vascular Nonionic surfactants lower the surface tension of spray elements of the plant and are referred to as “translocated” droplets. Additives either are included in the commer- in dry soil) or low air temperatures. COCs are used at 1 to 2 pints per acre. including vel- stage beyond which applications should not be made. AMS is used at 8. Thorough spray coverage a minimum of 75% to 80% active ingredient or otherwise of the plant foliage is very important with contact herbicides use a higher rate of NIS. Different types of spray additives ate to warm air temperatures all favor enhanced herbi. prior to application. Additionally. Some demonstrate very limited movement follow. or 2% to 4% by volume. This a compatibility agent when mixing herbicides with liquid becomes particularly important with late-season herbicide fertilizer.5% on a volume basis. vetleaf.125% to 0. and moder. Remember that if conditions occur that uptake into the target vegetation. NIS is usually applied at 0. Herbicide labels often specify that the NIS should contain sively as translocated herbicides. Such intervals are established quarts per acre. Additives for postemergence herbicides. Contact herbicide to allow sufficient time for the herbicide to be broken labels may specify that fertilizer adjuvants replace NIS or down or metabolized in the plant.

Some of these systems a species has never been susceptible to a given herbicide. Further color. Some examples may help to eliminate confusion about The University of Illinois Extension publication Utilizing these terms. The system is intended The producer notices that in recent years the control of to enhance growers’ ability to rotate herbicides based on common lambsquarters has been poor. Most herbicides do not need a buffering Herbicide-resistant weed biotypes continue to plague agent. A producer who has grown continuous corn on Herbicide Site of Action to Combat Weed Resistance to the same field for many years has used atrazine (a photo- Herbicides presents a color-coded herbicide classification synthesis-inhibiting herbicide) each year for weed control. whereas classification by site of action would place Multiple-resistance: Resistance to more than one class these two herbicides into two distinctly different families. (imazethapyr) and Roundup (glyphosate) in the same family. with the ambiguity of classification based on herbicide The resistant plant is a biotype of that species that is no mode of action. is susceptible to a given herbicide. Herbicide resistance in plants is often due to an alteration Notice in the definition of resistance. The table. application timing. resistance management. in contrast species that. the “uncommon Herbicides are frequently categorized into families ac. Table 12. The table also can be used to determine the sites of investigation reveals that the common lambsquarters is action of individual herbicide premix components. While understanding herbicide mode of action is benefi. and important initial step in designing effective weed-man- chemical structure. as a whole. in order to slow further development of her. reproduced here confirms during the winter that the weed is resistant to at- on the next page. the word “plant” is of the binding site in the target plant. but again finds a particular site of action are coded in shades of the same the control of common lambsquarters to be poor. cording to various similarities. describe mode of action categories as “cell membrane Other terms related to herbicide resistance include the disruptors. classifying herbicides by site of action may be more cies to survive and reproduce after herbicide treatment. and some sulfonylureas should not be acidified farmers across much of Illinois. within a species that possess characteristics not common How Herbicides Work to the species as a whole. whose systems include anywhere from longer susceptible to the herbicide. The producer decides to switch to simazine (another 14 “primary” colors. separates herbicide sites of action into razine. Examples of classification Understanding how herbicide resistance develops is an categories include mode of action. a resistant plant is a member of a may provide for more reliable classification. whereas “species” is used in the definition of toler- based on these different binding sites or sites of action ance. Herbicide site of action describes the specific location(s) The terminology used when discussing herbicide resis- within the plant where the herbicide binds. herbicide normally lethal to the wild type. In this case. Herbicide tolerance: the inherent ability of a plant spe- cial. defined as follows: Though the most common herbicide classification schemes Herbicide resistance: the inherited ability of a plant to utilize mode of action. Essentially. Rotating herbicides used. of herbicides with very different modes or sites of action. allowing growers to more accurately rotate herbicides for usually involving more than one basis for resistance. mode of action Illinois that have biotypes resistant to particular herbicide refers to how the herbicide acts to inhibit plant growth. educator collects seed from the common lambsquarters and bicide-resistant weed biotypes. system based on 14 sites of action. characteristic” is resistance to a particular herbicide. may not have been previously exposed to but that has a For example. families. Stated another way. The local extension site of action. Biotypes are populations because herbicide degradation is accelerated.ing effect on spray mixes where a pesticide is affected by Weed Resistance to Herbicides alkaline water. Tolerance implies that seven to 13 different categories. Site of action tance can be confusing. also resistant to simazine.” Rotating herbicides based on Cross-resistance: Resistance to a herbicide that a plant these categories could cause confusion among growers.8 provides a listing of weed species in inhibited by the herbicide. Herbicide mode of action describes agement strategies that deter the selection for resistant the metabolic or physiological plant process impaired or biotypes. Herbicide chemical families sharing photosynthesis inhibitor) the following year. The most common terms are thus identifies the herbicide target site within the plant. Because the plants are resistant Weed Management 173 . much ambiguity exists with respect survive and reproduce following exposure to a dose of to that herbicide classification. useful from the standpoint of resistance management.” “seedling growth inhibitors.” and “amino following: acid synthesis inhibitors. the mode-of-action category “amino acid mode or site of action similar to the herbicide that selected synthesis inhibitors” would place the herbicides Pursuit for the resistant biotype.

butylate Sutan + 8 Thiocarbamate EPTC Eradicane not ACCase inhibition Bleaching: Inhibition of DOXP synthase 13 Isoxazolidinone clomazone Command Isoxazole isoxaflutole Balance PRO Bleaching: Inhibition of 4-HPPD 27 Triketone mesotrione Callisto Pyrazolone topramezone Impact acifluorfen Ultra Blazer Diphenylether fomesafen Flexstar. Poast Plus chlorimuron Classic chlorsulfuron Telar foramsulfuron Option halosulfuron Permit idosulfuron --------- nicosulfuron Accent Sulfonylurea primisulfuron Beacon prosulfuron Peak rimsulfuron Resolve sulfometuron Oust Inhibition of acetolactate synthase (ALS) 2 thifensulfuron Harmony GT XP tribenuron Express imazamox Raptor imazapyr Arsenal Imidazolinone imazaquin Scepter imazethapyr Pursuit flumetsulam Python Triazolopyrimidine cloransulam FirstRate benefin Balan Inhibition of microtubule assembly 3 Dinitroaniline ethalfluralin Sonalan pendimethalin Prowl. Degree alachlor IntRRo.electron diversion 22 Bipyridilium diquat Diquat glyphosate Roundup. Partner Inhibition of synthesis of very-long-chain Chloroacetamide metolachlor various 15 S-metolachlor Dual II Magnum. Reflex lactofen Cobra.4-D Weedone. Select Max Cyclohexanedione sethoxydim Poast. others ametryn Evik Triazine prometon Pramitol simazine Princep Inhibition of photosynthesis at 5 hexazinone Velpar photosystem II site A Triazinone metribuzin Sencor bromacil Hyvar Uracil terbacil Sinbar Inhibition of photosynthesis at Nitrile bromoxynil Buctril 6 photosystem II site B Benzothiadiazole bentazon Basagran Inhibition of photosynthesis at diuron Karmex photosystem II site A 7 Urea linuron Lorox . Phoenix Inhibition of protoporphyrinogen oxidase 14 flumiclorac Resource (Protox or PPO) N-phenylphthalimide flumioxazin Valor Aryl triazinone sulfentrazone Authority carfentrazone Aim acetochlor Harness. Clarity clopyralid Stinger Carboxylic acid fluroxypyr Starane picloram Tordon triclopyr Garlon Inhibition of indoleacetic acid transport 19 Semicarbazone diflufenzopyr -------- atrazine AAtrex. Inhibition of EPSP synthase 9 None accepted others Inhibition of glutamine synthetase 10 None accepted glufosinate Liberty Inhibition of lipid biosynthesis . others fatty acids (VLCFA) dimethenamid Outlook 174 Oxyacetamide flufenacet Illinois Agronomy Define Handbook . Micro-Tech. others Phenoxy MCPA various MCPP various Synthetic auxins 4 Benzoic acid dicamba Banvel. Pendimax trifluralin Treflan. TopNotch. others 2. Touchdown. HERBICIDE CLASSIFICATION BY SITE OF ACTION WSSA ACTIVE SITE OF ACTION GROUP CHEMICAL FAMILY INGREDIENT HERBICIDE fenoxaprop Puma Aryloxyphenoxy propionate fluazifop Fusilade DX Inhibition of acetyl CoA carboxylase quizalofop Assure II 1 (ACCase) clethodim Select.different binding behavior tebuthiuron Spike paraquat Gramoxone Inteon Photosystem I .

only those plants that of developing a new herbicide makes good management possess a resistance trait can survive and produce seed for practices the best method for dealing with herbicide- future generations. Do not to the herbicide. one should have a basic understanding of how a resistant weed population develops. To slow the selection of herbicide- develop in their fields. The next year. A documented 1. ALS inhibitors tion. Repeated use of the same herbicide. The seed from the resistant biotypes ensures that the management system. Common cocklebur Xanthum strumarium ALS inhibitors The development of a herbi- Shattercane Sorghum bicolor ALS inhibitors cide-resistant weed popula- Giant foxtail Setaria faberi ALS inhibitors. Today. Weed species in Illinois that include herbicide-resistant biotypes and the herbicide is used year after herbicide families to which the biotypes are resistant. The natural. In other words. or several times during Species a single season. the usual solution cies. Table 12. agents to “select for” biotypes that are naturally resistant lR  otate herbicides with different sites of action. we are essentially using herbicides as the spread of plants that may have developed resistance. the high cost susceptible members of a species. Management Strategies to Minimize selection theory is widely regarded as the most plausible Herbicide-Resistant Weeds explanation for the development of resistance. This principle has three key components: the common lambsquarters is also resistant to glyphosate. The following strategies may help slow What is meant by “selection pressure” in regard to herbi. not controlled by any other herbicide or in any other man- once again poor control results. and protoporphyrinogen By understanding these components and developing weed- oxidase (PPO) inhibitors. bicide families as the acetolactate synthase (ALS) inhibi- tors. The absence of other control measures. When most of the susceptible members make more than two consecutive applications of herbi- of a weed population are controlled. A herbicide with a single site of action. new weed problems were discovered. If the same Weed Management 175 . The theory The best solution for minimizing herbicide-resistant weeds states that herbicide-resistant biotypes have always existed is to reduce the intensity of their selection. By controlling susceptible members of spond quickly to changes in weed populations to restrict a weed population. they are said to exhibit sequence of using a herbicide with a single site of action cross-resistance. selection for herbicide resistance: cide-resistant weeds? Herbicides are used to control a wide lS  cout fields regularly to identify resistant weeds. herbicides with the same site glyphosate of action) for weed control Eastern black nightshade Solanthum ptycanthum ALS inhibitors creates selection pressure Giant ragweed Ambrosia trifida ALS inhibitors that favors the development Common ragweed Ambrosia artemisiifolia ALS inhibitors of herbicide-resistant weeds. a situation defined as multiple-resistance. as at extremely low numbers within particular weed spe. from Illinois that has demonstrated resistance to such her- 3. resistant weeds. producers can greatly reduce the probability that herbicide-resistant weeds will Origin of resistance. Investigations reveal that ner. the resistant biotypes cides with the same site of action against the same weed are able to continue growing and eventually produce unless other effective control practices are included in seed. the resistant Common name Scientific name Resistant to herbicide family or families biotypes continue to thrive. ALS inhibitors. When a herbicide effectively controls the majority of has been to develop new herbicides. control systems with them in mind. year. ALS inhibitors on the same herbicide (or Common waterhemp Amaranthus rudis Triazine. triazines (atrazine. resistant weeds. example of multiple-resistance is a biotype of waterhemp 2. PPO inhibitors. ACCase inhibitors tion can be summarized by Horseweed Conyza canadensis Glyphosate the following principle: The appearance of herbicide- resistant weeds is the con- to both atrazine and simazine. relying Kochia Kochia scoparia Triazine.8. the producer decides to use year after year or of repeating applications of a herbicide a postemergence application of glyphosate (an amino acid during the growing season to kill a specific weed species synthesis inhibitor) to control the common lambsquarters. In the past. simazine). Re- spectrum of weeds. Consecutive applications can the resistance trait carries into future seasons. Common lambsquarters Chenopodium album Triazine eventually outnumbering the normal (susceptible) popula- Smooth pigweed Amaranthus hybridus Triazine.

can increase the rate of 2. formulations of 2. without mechanical control. The environment has a large influence on the severity of With these management strategies and diagnosis criteria crop injury symptoms from both soil-applied and post- in mind. In other the herbicide. ester question) were controlled effectively. for information. similarly to a spray additive. of the field. potentially leading to enhanced corn Weed control in the field has been based entirely on injury. tion. If the cause is readily discernible. the severity of response.4‑D lT  he weed species was controlled effectively in the past. caused by herbicides ap- crops become available. So a producer who encounters an entire Both herbicides in the mixture must have substantial field of resistant weeds has most likely had a resistant activity against potentially resistant weeds. until finally the resistant weeds appear as the quential mixtures that include multiple sites of action. herbicides. similar soil persistence. High air temperatures and relative resistant weed population? We know that initially resistant humidity levels favor enhanced absorption of postemer- weed biotypes are present at extremely low frequencies gence herbicides. especially postemergence programs should be encouraged to use practices that do herbicides. reason or reasons for observed crop injury can be chal- less other effective practices are included in the manage. the resistant weed population is duced crop stress can enhance crop injury from herbicides. process of assessment and prognosis may become less precise. Adequate soil moisture levels and low within a particular population. leading to injury symptoms. Certain corn hybrids. public utilities. be single applications in 2 years or two split applications herbicide-control program is followed repeatedly. resistant weeds do not usually infest an entire field Apart from enhancing herbicide uptake. Determining the with the same site of action against the same weed un. lC  ombine mechanical control practices (such as rotary the explanation and prognosis also may be straightfor- hoeing. have precautionary statements about the poten- not lead to the development of herbicide-resistant weeds. these in 1 year. isolated patches. lC  lean tillage and harvest equipment before moving from fields infested with resistant weeds to fields that are not Crop genetics can influence the degree of injury response. resistance bicides. Rapid herbicide absorption into the crop plant may will most likely first be noticed within a particular field as temporarily overwhelm the plant’s ability to break down a few individual weeds that were not controlled. and farm organizations herbicide family. words. If the same 176 Illinois Agronomy Handbook . infested. as well as population in the field for more than 1 year. uptake into the corn.4‑D tend to be absorbed through the leaf surface faster than amine formulations. then. state and federal agencies.4‑D (and other herbicides. for that matter) and may exhibit a lR  ailroads. how does one go about correctly identifying a emergence herbicides. Crop Injury and Herbicides lA  s new herbicide-resistant and herbicide-tolerant Crop response. the choice of formula- lA  ll other causes of herbicide failure have been eliminated. patches begin to encompass a larger and larger proportion lA  pply herbicides in tank-mixed. Typically. highway departments. It stands to reason. Chemical compa- particular hybrid may be sensitive to a certain herbicide or nies. For example. cultivating. dominant species. The similar organizations using total-vegetation-control labels of many corn herbicides.4‑D lT  he field has a history of continuous or repeated use of esters postemergence with additives such as COC. the cide treatments for a near-total weed-control program. or se. are sensitive to 2. and great deal of injury following herbicide application. their use should still not result plied for in-crop weed control can range from no visible in more than two consecutive applications of herbicides response to nearly complete crop loss. If you are concerned that a control frequently spread to cropland. Several criteria may be used to diagnose a herbicide-resis- If more than one formulation of a particular active ingre- tant weed problem correctly: dient is commercially available. for example. relative humidity can enhance uptake of soil-applied her- that because of such a low initial frequency. meaning injury. Applying 2. tial for certain hybrids to be more sensitive than others to Resistant weeds resulting from areas of total vegetation a particular active ingredient. ward. but if multiple factors contribute to crop injury. also can lO  ther weeds on the herbicide label (besides the one in influence the occurrence of corn injury. prepackaged. especially for postemergence applications. environment-in- within 1 year. as several interacting factors may contribute to ment system. and even hand weeding) with herbi. lenging. or tank- the same herbicide or herbicides with the same site of mixing herbicides with formulations that can “behave” action. initially confined to small. contact the seed company representative can help in this effort.

tivity arises from the crop’s ability to metabolize (break The herbicide itself can influence the severity of crop down) the herbicide to a nonphytotoxic form before it injury. Always read all label suggestions and precautions a corn plant. Why is a crop under stress more likely to be injured variety of factors). the herbicide attempts to control the corn just related to spray additives that should be either included or as it attempts to control the giant foxtail. When the corn is avoided when applying herbicides postemergence. If. it rapidly metabolizes Weed Management 177 . a grass-control herbicide herbicide or tank-mix combinations may enhance crop re- used in corn cannot discriminate between giant foxtail and sponse. examples of environmental conditions that can induce the corn plant is under stress (which could be caused by a stress. and spray additives applied with a postemergence causes much injury. growing under favorable conditions. its ability to metabolize the herbicide by a selective herbicide? In most cases.Cool air temperatures and wet soil conditions are good the herbicide before excessive injury occurs. may be slowed enough that injury symptoms develop. For example. herbicide selec. however.