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DuPont Pioneer Highlights Importance Of Weed Control Following 2012 Drought

Study shows yield benefit of early postemergent herbicide control

DES MOINES, Iowa, May 15, 2013 - Following persistent drought conditions in 2012, weed control is more important than ever this year to preserve valuable soil moisture and get corn and soybean crops off to a good start. DuPont Pioneer agronomists say taking steps to maintain water for growing crops is key to a successful harvest this fall.

"Early season management, critical to crop growth, needs to focus on weed control," says Dan Berning, technical services agronomist in Lincoln, Neb.

A weed-control study reveals yield loss due to weed competition could be up to three times greater if weeds are sprayed after growing beyond a height of two to six inches. Although the study shows the highest level of weed control by delaying postemergence herbicide applications until weeds are 12 inches tall, the tradeoff to waiting is increased yield loss.

"Growers need to be most concerned with weed control during the first three to six weeks after planting in order to avoid interference leading to yield loss," Berning says.

With the added challenge of weed resistance to glyphosate herbicides, growers can best manage postemergent weeds by using more than one mode of action. Growers can consult their local DuPont Pioneer agronomist or co-op for tailored herbicide recommendations based on the weeds they see in their fields.

Even without herbicide resistance, a wide range of weed species holds an evolutionary advantage achieved over thousands of years. "Every time a grower adjusts weed control practices new weed species can become dominant. Best management practices for weed management include routine scouting and rotating or combining herbicide modes of action," Berning says.

To assist growers with field scouting, Pioneer has introduced a new agronomy tracking tool: Pioneer® Field360™ Notes app. Compatible with mobile devices for use right in the field, Pioneer Field360 Notes streamlines and organizes field-by-field agronomic information.

"Growers who use Pioneer Field360 Notes app can take photos and map weed species information in real-time while in their field," Berning says.

The Pioneer Field360 Notes application also includes the ability to mark problem infestation areas with GPS tracking so a grower can return to an exact spot later. An additional feature allows growers to share their Pioneer Field360 Notes app information with a local DuPont Pioneer agronomist or Pioneer sales representative.

"Not only can a grower track information in real time, but they can also get feedback from their local Pioneer representatives to help accurately identify challenges and work together to determine solutions," Berning says.

DuPont Pioneer is the world's leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, providing high-quality seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries. Pioneer provides agronomic support and services to help increase farmer productivity and profitability and strives to develop sustainable agricultural systems for people everywhere. Science with Service Delivering Success™.

DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders, we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit www.dupont.com.

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Contact:   Jerry Harrington
Table 1: The Effect of Application Timing on Weed Control and Corn Yields
Application Timing
(Weed Size)
Corn Yield Loss
(Early Season Competition Only)
Corn Yield Loss
(Early & Late Season Competition)
2" 73 0 7
4" 83 3 6
6" 90 6 7
9" 93 14 11
12" 95 22 21
Adapted from Grower et al. 2003 Weed Technol. 17:821-828
DuPont Pioneer weed control studies show that waiting to spray postemergent weeds can result in significant yield loss.


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