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Talk to your chemical dealer. Now

Gil Gullickson 03/13/2013 @ 10:19am Crops Technology Editor for Successful Farming magazine/Agriculture.com

If you haven’t nailed down your herbicide supplies for 2013, talk to your chemical dealer. Come spring, there may be tight supplies of certain chemicals.

That’s particularly true for soybean preemergence herbicides.

A soaring waterhemp population in the northern areas has boosted demand for DuPont preemergence herbicides like Enlite, says Jeff Carpenter, DuPont corn product manager.

“In some areas, we won’t have the supply we normally have,” he says. He adds DuPont is working with DuPont Pioneer in connecting farmers planting the firm’s seed with retail locations that supply herbicides.

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Tight supplies of Enlite, marketed in northern production areas, are the most surprising, he says. Since it controls waterhemp, farmers in northern regions are using more and more of it.

“In the old glyphosate days, those beans never got a preemergence treatment,” he says. There is interest in the north in putting on these residuals. We knew it was coming, but we have been surprised at the adoption rate.”

In corn, supplies of herbicides like Breakfree containing acetochlor are fine. Ditto for metalachlor in DuPont’s Cinch brands and its postemergence product RealmQ, says Carpenter.

Increased Corn Acres

Skyrocketing corn acres have also spurred herbicide demand. “Three years ago, we didn’t know we would start (talking about) at 97 to 98 million acres of corn,” says David Hollinrake, Bayer CropScience vice president for agricultural commercial operations. “This is not a Bayer issue, it is an industry issue. Increased acreage of corn is demanding more and more chemistry. “

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Last year, increased demand for glufosinate that’s used in LibertyLink crops caused tight supplies in some areas. For 2013, Hollinrake says Bayer is working with seed companies as to how much LibertyLink seed they are booking so they may match Liberty herbicide with the seed.

Increasing corn acres have also tightened supplies of Laudis herbicide. “Demand is up 40% for Laudis,” says Jeff Springsteen, Bayer CropScience marketing manager for selective corn herbicides. Supplies are excellent for Corvus, Capreno, and Balance Flex, which are other Bayer selective corn herbicides, he adds.

Roundup (glyphosate) supplies from Monsanto will be in good shape, says Chris Reat, Roundup marketing manager at Monsanto.

“Watching the number of Roundup Ready acres, we knew it might be a challenge in having enough,” he says. “We are keenly aware supply is tight, but we feel good about our ability to supply glyphosate for burndown and in-season use.”

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