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Damage from Blowing Soil Carrying Herbicides (06/08/17)

At one of our testing locations, significant leaf burn was noted on both corn and soybean.

Damage from Blowing Soil Carrying Herbicides

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At one of our testing locations, significant leaf burn was noted on both corn and soybean. Initially it was thought that the damage was due to abrasion from blowing soil as most of the damage was observed on older leaves that would have been exposed to the high winds and the soil that was carried with it the previous week. Later we learned that Authority MTZ with glyphosate had been applied to the soybean field that surrounds our plots. This application was made prior to the emergence of any of the corn and soybeans in our plots, so it was not an issue of drift. Authority MTZ contains sulfentrazone, which is a PPO inhibitor and can cause localized burning/necrosis of emerged green tissue. Without activating rain to move Authority MTZ applied preemergence into the soil profile, sulfentrazone would remain bound to soil particles on the soil surface. We surmise that in our plot area, soil containing sulfentrazone was carried with win

d and covered crop tissue much like dust would cover surfaces. The sulfentrazone could become active with any moisture from precipitation or dew. Once activated, the characteristic burning symptomology could appear. Unfortunately, this is an example of problem arising even when best practices are followed. A pre was applied as recommended in order to reduce the buildup of herbicide tolerant weeds, it is applied prior to crop emergence to ensure safety and to maximize weed control. However, because of dry conditions it was not moved beyond the surface of the soil. Consequently, the strong winds that moved through the area carried the soil with attached herbicide across the field, exposing emerged leaves to damaging levels of herbicide. We believe that most plants will grow out of damage with little or no yield loss, though there may be a few cases where the damage to individual plants may be significant enough to affect yield.

Joel Ransom

Extension Agronomist for Cereal Crops


Rich Zollinger

NDSU Extension Weed Specialist


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