Corn herbicide reactivates for early-season control


RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Solid early-season weed control has been a must-have for generations of corn growers. Because fewer weeds at the start of the season means higher yields at harvest, growers and chemical companies alike have been looking for ways to keep down weeds earlier — and for longer — in the season.

Over the years, technology has offered weed control with residual benefits. Balance® Flexx pre-emergence corn herbicide offers something more — reactivation, a step above conventional residual weed control.

Balance Flexx optimizes early-season weed control by providing reactivation properties to keep down weeds through canopy or until post treatment application.

The corn herbicide provides burndown of grass and broadleaf weeds, and then reactivates with rainfall throughout the season to control late-emerging weeds up to 2 inches tall.

“Balance Flexx reactivation offers growers flexibility in their postemergence herbicide application timing, making it unique compared to other pre-emergence herbicides,” says Jeff Springsteen, Bayer CropScience marketing manager for selective corn and soybean herbicides. “If growers apply Balance Flexx pre-emerge and aren’t able to make a timely post application, its reactivation properties will keep down weeds until the post product is applied.”

Gridley, Ill., corn and soybean producer Phil Kiefer says that’s what he particularly liked about using Balance Flexx during the 2010 growing season.

“We have problems getting the right amount of rainfall at the right time,” Kiefer says. “It’s nice to have that recharge when you do get a rain later on. You still have the extra time to suppress the weeds and keep things small enough. It’s a very good asset that the Balance Flexx program offers.”

The unique power of reactivation controls emerging weeds with just a half-inch or more of rain. If late weeds surface after an application of Balance Flexx, every half-inch rainfall will stimulate the herbicide’s reach back properties to eliminate those weeds.

“This year the reactivation with rainfall has really shown up in keeping the fields as clean as they have been,” says Kevin Ziegenbein, an Ashland, Neb., corn and soybean producer. “Thus, one reason why we had the three or four fields that we didn’t have to treat with any postemergence product.”

With the Bayer CropScience proprietary Crop Safety Innovation (CSI) Safener, Balance Flexx is extremely safe on young corn plants. The herbicide can be applied from burndown or pre-plant through the V2 growth stage on any soil type, including sandy soils.

Balance Flexx delivers broad-spectrum control of more than 59 grass and broadleaf weeds and keeps down glyphosate-, triazine- and ALS-resistant weeds, including resistant marestail, common ragweed, waterhemp and Palmer amaranth.

The herbicide is an excellent setup in a sequential program. Springsteen recommends growers make a pre-emergence application of 3 fl oz/A of Balance Flexx with atrazine followed by a postemergence application of 3 fl oz/A of Laudis® herbicide plus atrazine.

“Using Balance Flexx as the foundation for a two-pass program gives corn growers an excellent combination of weed control and weed-resistance management with crop safety and flexibility,” he says.

For more information about the reactivation power of Balance Flexx, growers can log on to, contact their local Bayer CropScience representative or call 1-866-99-BAYER (1-866-992-2937).