Improve Soybean Yield With These 3 Weed Control Strategies

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Ground level view of healthy soybeans

Most yield reductions due to weed competition occur during the first six weeks after planting.1 To help customers avoid lost yield and profit this season, Chris McClain, market development specialist, Corteva Agriscience, recommends working with your customers to implement a program approach to weed control — and the sooner, the better. 

While weeds and other pest pressures will vary by operation, each customer’s weed management plan should include the following core strategies:

  • Start Clean. A weed that never emerges — or is controlled early in its life cycle — is the easiest weed to control. In addition to larger weeds being more difficult to control, they equate to greater yield losses. Data from Michigan State University shows that delaying control of 4-inch-tall weeds can result in soybean yield losses from 1.5 to 3 bushels per acre per day. This is estimated to cost anywhere from $38 to $86 per acre in profit due to reductions in yield.2

    “Early season weed control is critical,” McClain says. “Encourage customers to start clean with burndown herbicides or tillage, then include a comprehensive in-season weed control program that includes preemergence herbicides — as well as timely postemergence herbicides — with overlapping residuals.”
  • Overlap Residual Herbicides. Adding herbicides with residual activity and multiple modes of action brings your customers many benefits, including reduced weed seedbanks, enhanced in-season weed control, application flexibility and resistance management.
  • Finish the Season Strong With Postemergence Protection. Don’t quit while you’re ahead. It’s a good idea to go through with a postemergence herbicide application, especially if there are any weed escapes. This video explains the importance of including both preemergence and postemergence herbicides in soybean weed control programs:

Corteva Agriscience offers a variety of strong and flexible soybean herbicide solutions to complement the strategies mentioned above. View the full portfolio here.


1Ferrell, J. A., G. E. MacDonald, and P. Devkota. 2021. Weed Management in Soybeans. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/WG010

2Burnes, E., and C. Sprague. 2021. Protecting crop yields starts with early season weed control. https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/protecting-crop-yields-starts-with-early-season-weed-control