Mycogen: Avoid Yield Losses From Volunteer Corn With Herbicide Control

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Source: Mycogen Seeds news release

Farmers in the Corn Belt have an option for controlling yield-robbing volunteer corn next season. Many farmers are considering the use of corn with the Enlist trait to control volunteer corn by applying a FOP herbicide in 2019.

“Outside of cultivation, controlling volunteer corn can be a challenge for farmers due to herbicide resistance traits,” says Jason Welker, Mycogen Commercial Agronomist in Nebraska. “However, if the traits differ between last year’s and this year’s corn, then control through the use of a herbicide is possible.”

Mycogen brand corn hybrids with the Enlist trait were first commercially available in the 2018 growing season. Farmers experienced success controlling grasses and volunteer corn last year. For farmers planting corn after corn, Mycogen brand hybrids with the Enlist trait provide an option for farmers in 2019. Corn with the Enlist trait includes tolerance for FOPs and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACCase) enzyme inhibitor, making it an option to spray FOP herbicide. DuPont Assure II is the only grass herbicide labeled to control volunteer corn in corn hybrids with the Enlist trait.

“In areas where there were stalk integrity issues, especially in the western Corn Belt, farmers might be challenged with volunteer corn this next year,” Welker says. “Today’s equipment does a pretty good job of picking up down corn, but those in corn-after-corn situations who are concerned with the potential of volunteer corn should consider this new option for control.”

Threats to next year’s yield
Research shows significant yield loss results from delayed control of volunteer corn, regardless of the control method.

In an article authored by Kansas State University Cropping Systems Specialist Ignacio Ciampitti and Kansas Corn, the authors note the following statistics:

• A study from South Dakota State University reported yield losses of up to 13 percent in corn from volunteer corn.
• Research from the University of Minnesota showed volunteer corn plants lagged from one- to six-leaf stages behind the crop and few plants produced an ear by harvest.
• Iowa State University reported one volunteer corn plant per 10 feet of row reduced corn yield 1.3 percent.
• The University of Nebraska-Lincoln found volunteer corn population of 3,500 plants per acre resulted in a 2 percent yield reduction in corn and doubling the density to 7,000 plants per acre caused a 5 percent yield reduction.

“Corn with the Enlist trait is a great option to protect yield from volunteer corn and other yield-robbing weeds and grasses,” Welker says. “Grasses like Johnsongrass, which are hard to control with glyphosate, can be managed using a grass herbicide such as DuPont Assure II labeled for use in hybrids with the Enlist trait. We’ve seen some strong yield advantages this year with Mycogen brand hybrids with the Enlist trait.”

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