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Weeds are the ultimate foe for corn and soybean growers. They easily adapt to new herbicides, changes in cultivation and diverse weather. Growers need a solid playbook to help them fight their adept foes well into the future.
Glyphosate has been called a once-in-100-years herbicide. But if you are looking for the next new glyphosate, think again. While there is active research and development to find the next great active ingredient, any search is still in its infancy. No superstar product like glyphosate is being talked about openly by any company.
“We have some exciting leads, but we are still a year or more away from getting anything into the early development stage,” says Steve Bowe, team lead, biology, BASF. “And then it would still be several more years before anything would reach the market.”
Instead, growers need to take a long-term, multi-pronged approach to weed management. “We don’t need a short-term fix,” Hager says. “Even if a new active ingredient were introduced tomorrow, if we simply relied on that one AI, in a few years we’d be right back to where we are today.”
And as the crowd filters out from Hager and Owen’s seminar into the Illinois heat, that message is resonating.