Suggestions for Dealing With Herbicide Shortages for 2022
The shortage of glyphosate (Roundup, Gly Star, etc.) and glufosinate (Liberty, Interline, etc.) herbicides are forcing farmers to seek other options for burndown and postemergence spray. No one anticipated this shortage and very little research has been done to address this issue. Many of us had to dust off our notes from the early 1990’s, the time before cheap glyphosate was available. One thing is certain, alternative weed control options will require more targeted management. The key is to plan ahead, select herbicides based on the weeds in the field, and make timely applications. Your mindset needs to be that you are not substituting a herbicide for glyphosate, rather you are using a different herbicide that has its own set of recommendations and limitations.
Alternative herbicides will not control as many weed species as glyphosate; in fact, some are only effective on a few weed species. Weed populations differ from field to field, so it is likely that herbicide mixtures will need to be adjusted for specific fields. Scouting will be key to selecting the right herbicide combination for a particular field. Scouting should be performed multiple times during the growing season to identify the species present and be sure weeds are small at time of application. In addition, it is important to check after a treatment is made to be sure it was effective.
Field records and past experience will help you decide which fields to prioritize for treatment with glyphosate or glufosinate. Targeting those “problem” fields or fields that will be rotated to vegetables for glyphosate or glufosinate applications.