2023 Weed Control: What We Learned

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Corn field in dry weather

Alexie Garner and Cole Tebbe, retail product agronomists for Brevant® seeds, can agree: The 2023 growing season was a challenge, especially when it comes to corn and soybean weed control.

“This growing season was one with little forgiveness,” says Alexie Garner, who works with farmers in western Indiana. “Drought conditions in early summer severely impacted our key spraying window. And when growers were able to spray, the dry weather reduced important chemical activation — so several growers saw breakthrough weeds, even after postemergence passes.”

Garner notes that broadleaf weeds were especially difficult to manage in her region this year. “Sporadic rains caused uneven weed growth patterns and several phases of rapid growth, making it hard for the chemistry to keep up and provide effective weed control. Between the burcucumber and waterhemp, finding a clean field was difficult,” she says.

Tebbe, who works with growers in the neighboring state of Ohio, says giant and common ragweed, marestail, Palmer amaranth and late-season grasses all posed a challenge in his area.

Turning Challenges Into Opportunities

While many growers struggled with weed control this year, these challenges present an opportunity to better prepare for the 2024 growing season. Here are some of Garner and Tebbe’s key weed control insights from this past year: 

  • Plan now for a program approach. Some yields were significantly reduced in fields with heavy weed pressure this year. Keeping fields clean from the start, and continuing to control weeds throughout the growing season, will help ensure growers are meeting their yield goals.

    “Start working with customers to build programs now. Incorporate multiple modes of action and residual herbicides for better weed control success next year,” Garner says. “Also, encourage customers to use the full, labeled rate when making herbicide applications.”
  • Capitalize on benefits of the Enlist® weed control system. “The Enlist weed control system is continuously growing every year, and I anticipate this trend to only continue,” Tebbe says. “The system gives growers more weed control flexibility, without strict application cutoff dates.”

    Garner adds that she’s excited about the opportunities to come with Vorceed Enlist corn and PowerCore® Enlist corn.

    “With three herbicide tolerances in soybeans and four tolerances in corn, growers can confidently stack modes of action and layer their chemistries for the best control possible against even the toughest weeds,” Garner says.

    If you’re interested in learning more about the Enlist weed control system, you can register for a free upcoming webinar. The A Step Ahead webinars are hosted by Enlist field specialists and cover a variety of topics, including best weed management practices, applicator training and special sessions on Enlist corn. View the upcoming webinar schedule here.
  • Seek out advice from local experts. Consulting other retailers, industry professionals and staying close with your customers can help you identify what worked well — and what really didn’t go so well this season. “Gathering several opinions and brainstorming with others in the industry is a great way to come up with a better weed control game plan for the 2024 growing season,” Tebbe says.

Reach out to your local Corteva Agriscience representative or visit Corteva.us to learn more about products and solutions available to help your customers have a successful 2024 growing season.  


™ ® Enlist and Vorceed are trademarks of Corteva Agriscience and its affiliated companies. PowerCore® multi-event technology developed by Corteva Agriscience and Monsanto. ® PowerCore is a registered trademark of Bayer Group. Always follow IRM, grain marketing and all other stewardship practices and pesticide label directions. B.t. products may not yet be registered in all states. Check with your seed representative for the registration status in your state. Liberty®, LibertyLink® and the Water Droplet Design are registered trademarks of BASF.