CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — In comparing weather, weed pressure, and yields with each other, USDA weed specialist Marty Williams says found a concerning result.

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“The number one observation we saw was that you’ve got to have pretty much perfect weed control throughout the season to avoid yield loss,” Williams said. “And that came as a little bit of a surprise, since typically we think soybeans can tolerate some interferences, but we look at the complete data set over a number of different environments, it almost has got to be perfect control. And when we are just a little bit off, and we have less than complete weed control throughout the season there is some penalty, but what really is disturbing is that particularly warm or dry conditions at seed fill exacerbates those yield losses due to weeds.”

So as we get into late July and august and those pods are filling out, if its warm and dry, and if you’ve got any weeds, your yield is going to go down faster than it normally would.

“That’s right,” Williams said. “That’s what we observed and that is a bit of concern. Those are some of the projections we have for the future here in the corn belt is a greater risk of having those kinds of conditions so its just a few escapes and those kinds of conditions really make yield loss even worse. The benefit of this approach of the work that we have done it documents this and it provides even greater justification for coming up with improved weed management systems for corn soybean production.”

That’s not necessary herbicides though.

“I don’t think we’ll be swimming in any new active ingredients anytime soon here so, it really places the emphasis on thinking more broadly about how we manage weeds particularly focus on seed bank and how we can drive that seed bank lower to reduce the occurrence of weeds in the field,” Williams said.

That’s our report from the farm. I’m Stu Ellis with WCIA-3, your local news leader.