It is big and ugly and showing up in more and more soybean fields. Watehemp is a weed that Indiana farmers are finding harder and harder to control. Each waterhemp plant can contain up to 250,000 seeds which makes it a very prolific weed. Dave Roome, with Corteva Agrisciences, says, “It is one that can quickly get out of control for farmers who are not prepared for it.”
Roome says scouting is the first line of defense, “Knowing what you have in your fields is absolutely critical.” He added, it is not only important to take action for this year, but for next year as well, “If you are going into corn next year and you want to minimize the development of waterhemp, now is the time to be scouting your fields.”
Roome told HAT that, in addition to a number of effective crop protection products, there are some practical things farmers can consider, “Tillage, for example, waterhemp does not like tillage. Picking the right soybean variety is another thing you can do.” He said picking a bushy variety that will develop a closed canopy early is a good way to slow development of the weed.
Roome says there are a number of other weeds that are making a comeback in the Midwest, “Giant ragweed is making a comeback. In addition, some vines like morning glory and bindweed are also showing up across the Midwest.” He added some grasses are also coming back, including foxtail.