Rushville Republican

Agriculture

December 6, 2013

Purdue, Ohio State partner to help farmers control marestail

WEST LAFAYETTE - Purdue and Ohio State University Extension have partnered to publish a new fact sheet aimed at helping farmers battle herbicide-resistant marestail and its yield-reducing affects on soybeans.

Marestail, also referred to as horseweed, primarily emerges in late summer into fall and again from late-March through June in both Indiana and Ohio. The weed competes with soybean plants for soil nutrients, space and water. Mature marestail also can hinder soybean harvest, and it doesn’t respond to treatment from one of the most commonly used herbicides.

“Most populations of marestail in Ohio and Indiana are resistant to glyphosate, and will not be controlled by burndown or post-emergence applications of glyphosate alone,” said Mark Loux, Ohio State Extension weed scientist.

Glyphosate resistance means farmers need to pay extra special attention to herbicide application timing so they can try to control marestail during early growth stages when it’s most treatable. It also means soybean growers likely will need to use a cocktail of other herbicides to achieve marestail control.

Loux and Purdue Extension weed scientist Bill Johnson hope to make navigating marestail control a little bit easier with their new fact sheet, “Control of Marestail in No-Till Soybeans,” which is available for free download at either of the following websites:

* Purdue Extension Weed Science - http://www.btny.purdue.edu/weedscience

* OSU Extension Weed Science - http://agcrops.osu.edu/specialists/weeds

The fact sheet includes information about marestail biology, soybean yield loss, herbicide resistance and steps for controlling and managing the weed.

“We continue to struggle with marestail control, so we need to emphasize that it’s a multistep process,” Johnson said. “Soybean growers need to plan a two-pass burndown system with an application in fall followed by another in spring, or an application in early spring followed by another at planting.

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