Your Spring Burndown Questions, Answered

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Spring field before burndown

A burndown herbicide application is a great way to control challenging winter annual weeds, such as henbit and marestail, as well as early spring-germinating weeds like kochia, before they start robbing soil moisture and nutrients from soybean seedlings.

“Spring burndown applications offer many benefits,” says Jason Gibson, market development specialist, Corteva Agriscience. “The ability to control difficult weeds early on can help increase soil temperatures at planting, leading to more uniform plant stands and improved plant vigor. They also enable a more uniform sprayer pattern of preemergence herbicides for consistent weed control.”

We sat down with Gibson to learn more about spring burndown best practices. 

Q: What are some of your top tips for a successful burndown application?

As with any herbicide application, the weather conditions are important. You’ll want to make applications as air temperatures are climbing and the daily high reaches 55 F or more. Proper nozzles and water volume are also important in delivering effective weed coverage. You may also want to consider using a crop oil concentrate or methylated seed oil adjuvants to enhance the absorption of the burndown herbicide.

Q: How can growers maximize the return on their burndown herbicide investment?

Start by scouting fields to determine which fields would benefit most from a burndown application. Before a herbicide application is ever made, you should know what weeds are present, what size they are and how many there are. You may want to consider spraying only portions of the field that tend to be more problematic, such as the field perimeter. And if you prepaid through the TruChoice® offer, you can use the funds to save money on burndown herbicides.


Q: Which soybean herbicides do you recommend for spring burndown?

Elevore® herbicide is an excellent option for burndown control. You can also use Enlist® herbicides for burndown on Enlist E3® soybean acres. A glyphosate herbicide can be tank-mixed with Elevore or Enlist One® herbicide for broader-spectrum weed control. And, after burndown applications, it’s important to employ preemergence and postemergence herbicides to ensure fields stay clean throughout the growing season.

Q: Are there any misconceptions about burndown applications that you’d like to correct?

Some perceive burndown herbicide applications to be expensive. However, they save you money on weed control in the long run. Without a burndown herbicide, fields may require additional herbicides mixed in the postemergence pass because fields weren’t clean to begin with at planting time.   

Get more insights on spring burndown applications in this Brownfield Ag News Managing for Profit radio segment.


The transgenic soybean event in Enlist E3® soybeans is jointly developed and owned by Corteva Agriscience and M.S. Technologies L.L.C. Enlist Duo® and Enlist One® herbicides are not registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your area. Enlist Duo and Enlist One herbicides are the only 2,4-D products authorized for use with Enlist® crops. Consult Enlist® herbicide labels for weed species controlled. Elevore® is not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Consult the label before purchase or use for full details. Always read and follow label directions.