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Syngenta plans full-scale launch of residual soybean premix herbicide in 2008

Agriculture.com Staff 10/18/2006 @ 3:36pm

Soybean growers will soon have another residual herbicide from which to choose. Syngenta plans a full-scale launch of its premix herbicide, Prefix, in 2008.

Prefix is a premix of two active ingredients, S-metolachlor and fomesafen, that are used in Dual Magnum and Reflex, respectively. Prefix was performance tested in 2006 on over 50,000 acres, and is available in a co-pack form. Syngenta scientists are working on a new premix formulation.

The herbicide's residual activity allows growers to control early-season weeds in soybeans before applying glyphosate postemergence, says Duane Martin, herbicide brand manager, Syngenta Crop Protection. Martin discussed Prefix at a mid-October media summit sponsored by Syngenta.

"Its two modes of action will also help manage (glyphosate) resistance," he adds.

Martin sees Prefix fitting into high-residue situations like no-till in the southern Corn Belt and the lower Midwest. "I think we will see it grow in use across the Corn Belt, driven by waterhemp and pigweed," he says.

Preventing early weed competition
Bryan Young, a Southern Illinois University weed scientist, adds a weed-free soybean field at harvest can be misleading. "Weed control at harvest is not a good measure of successful weed management," he says. "Weeds do a lot of yield damage early."

Growers who delay glyphosate applications may obtain good weed control, but at the cost of yield.

Young showed a field that had 20- to 24-inch high weeds on August 19. Twenty-five days after a glyphosate treatment, the field was clean. "You think you saved the farm," says Young.

However, he points out that two to three percent in soybean loss can occur for every crop leaf stage of herbicide application delay.

Residual herbicides applied preemergence can protect crop from early weed competition. "Weeds like giant ragweed, lambsquarters, and common ragweed can grow in mid-April," says Young.

A residual herbicide can control weeds like these and protect yield until a postemergence glyphosate application is added later. Just be sure to match the residual herbicide with your weed spectrum.

"Many common annual weeds are difficult to control and are very competitive," adds Martin. "Chosen correctly, a residual preemergence herbicide will stop weed competition. The crop will be clean until you come back and put on glyphosate postemergence."

Soybean growers will soon have another residual herbicide from which to choose. Syngenta plans a full-scale launch of its premix herbicide, Prefix, in 2008.

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