Crop Competitiveness

What’s good for your crops can be bad for weeds. Maximizing crop competitiveness can slow weed emergence and growth and lessen the weed’s reproduction ability, which is critical to reducing the risks of herbicide resistance. Consider the following practices to give your crops the competitive advantage against weeds:

Crop rotation – How does crop rotation make a difference? Rotating different crops allows for different herbicides, different planting dates and different production practices. These are all differences that add up. Crop rotation optimizes crop competitiveness at the expense of weed growth and reproduction, which can delay the evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds.

Seed selection – Choosing the right crop seed can help suppress weeds. Your soybean plants’ growth rate, height, leaf angle and canopy formation all affect weed growth, so choosing varieties that will optimize those factors will be helpful.

Planting date – Crop planting date can affect the severity of a weed infestation. Rapid and consistent emergence of the crop is critical to its success and competitive advantage over associated weeds.

Row widths – Narrow row widths can accelerate canopy development, which slows annual weed emergence and diminishes their ability to compete with crops. Over time, this results in fewer weed seeds in your fields.

Seeding rates – Like row widths, increased seeding rates can increase crop competitiveness and accelerate canopy development. For more information on this topic, see the Value of Residual Herbicide in Reduced Soybean Stands webcast provided by the Plant Management Network.