Poll Shows Pigweeds Are Farmers’ Worst Nemesis

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Common waterhemp/pigweed

A recent AgWeb poll showed that waterhemp was farmers’ top weed nemesis in 2022, with Palmer amaranth following close behind. Both members of the pigweed family, these weeds can produce anywhere from 100,000 to 500,000 seeds per plant in your corn and soybean fields.1

And if you’re anything like the 400 farmers who took the poll, you probably have some bad blood with one or both pigweed cousins. There are several ways to win the pigweed battle in 2023.  

Controlling waterhemp and Palmer amaranth

Use a herbicide program approach with multiple modes of action and residual activity to control driver weeds like waterhemp and Palmer amaranth.

A program approach includes applications of burndown, preemergence and postemergence herbicides and overlapping residuals is key for reducing pigweed applications. This means including residuals in both the preemergence and postemergence applications. Additionally, timely applications (when weeds are small: 4 inches or shorter) are critical in reducing waterhemp and Palmer amaranth populations.

Corteva Agriscience offers several herbicide solutions so you can customize a weed control program to fit your needs. Learn about key corn and soybean herbicides available at the following links:

In addition to a strong herbicide program, you can implement several cultural practices to control waterhemp and Palmer amaranth. Some of those include:

  • Rotating crops to allow for different herbicide modes of action to be used
  • Harvesting any fields with heavy infestations last to prevent spread
  • Deep tillage to reduce the amount of weed seeds that germinate by burying them at unfavorable depths
  • Planting in narrow rows to help soybeans, for example, outcompete weeds for sunlight and nutrients
  • Planting fall-seeded cover crops like cereal rye

Remember: Pigweeds are tough, so successful weed management will require multiple control tactics. Consult your local retailer and/or Corteva Agriscience representative to find the right solutions for your fields.

1Legleiter, T. 2020. Palmer Amaranth and Waterhemp Control in Corn and Soybean. http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/AGR/AGR260/AGR260.pdf