Effective weed management is a cornerstone of successful crop production. Tank-mixing herbicides is a strategy that offers a multitude of benefits along with unique challenges.

Various herbicides are used at different times in the crops life stage, each providing their own strength. Pre-emergent herbicides such as Bifecta EZ, Fierce EZ, TriActor EZ and Valtera EZ help farmers get ahead of weed challenges by targeting weeds while they are small and more susceptible to herbicides. This means less competition and more nutrients and moisture for your crop to start strong.

A pre-seed burndown herbicide such as BlackHawk herbicide can be tank-mixed with glyphosate to provide broad-spectrum weed control. Tank mixes with multiple herbicide modes of action will help slow the development of herbicide-resistant weeds.

Each herbicide has varying requirements for tank-mixing and farmers should pay close attention to product labels to get the most out of their herbicides.

Challenges associated with tank mixing herbicides

It’s important to understand what is required to optimize the performance of the herbicide application. Weather, soil type, emerged weed pressure, weed staging, etc. can all impact the efficacy of herbicides and tank-mixes. The first step when evaluating herbicide tank-mixes is to read and follow label directions. If you have any questions reach out to your agronomist, manufacturing rep or the product support line.

Taking the time to read and understand the directions for each product before mixing and applying can save time, money and headaches down the road. No one wants to deal with gumming up or plugged nozzles during the busy spring season.

Some herbicides may cause damage to crops if applied at the wrong rates, wrong time or if tank-mixed with incompatible products. It’s also import to understand any re-cropping restrictions that may be on the label.

Best practices for tank-mixing herbicides

Farmers should adhere to best practices and protocols to optimize the benefits of tank-mixing herbicides. Some best practices include:

  • Carefully follow label instructions for each herbicide product, including proper mixing ratios, application rates, and timing recommendations
  • Regular equipment maintenance, such as thorough tank cleaning between applications, helping to prevent contamination
  • Conducting compatibility testing, such as a jar test, before mixing to identify potential issues and ensure the compatibility of herbicide formulations

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The importance of compatibility testing before mixing

Compatibility testing is critical in the tank-mixing process, ensuring that herbicide formulations are compatible and will perform as intended when combined. Before mixing herbicides, farmers should conduct small-scale compatibility tests using representative tank mixtures and assess for any signs of physical or chemical incompatibility. This includes observing for precipitation, settling, foaming, or changes in solution clarity, which may indicate potential issues. Compatibility testing helps farmers identify any issues before they become an in-season headache.

Tank-mixing herbicides with glyphosate is a powerful tool for effective weed management, allowing for broader weed control coverage and reduced application frequency. However, it is important for farmers to implement best practices to mitigate any potential risks. Farmers can optimize the benefits of tank-mixing herbicides and achieve superior weed control results by conducting thorough compatibility testing and following label instructions diligently.