Do you still need Roundup mobile article header image
One of the jobs I do every day is train agronomists. Over the past few years, several of them have said, “My farmers are wondering if putting Roundup in the tank is even worth it anymore.” My response to that is always the same. In most cases, I’d still use Roundup. If you need to save a dollar or two somewhere else, do that, but Roundup is typically worth the money…
  • Roundup still controls thousands of weed species, including almost all grasses. Sure, you may have two to four weed species on your farm that are tolerant to Roundup, but even on many of those weeds, if you leave Roundup out, you see worse weed control, which shows you many of those weeds aren’t truly resistant. In fact, if the weeds are less than one inch tall, the weather is ideal, you get great spray coverage, and you use a high rate, Roundup often still has some control on marestail, waterhemp, Palmer pigweed, common ragweed, and other weeds often considered Roundup-resistant.
  • Roundup is at its lowest net price in history. If you collect the Bayer Plus rebate money, your net cost is likely only a dollar or two per acre, depending on the rate.
  • In corn, never forget that the biggest yield-robber is still grass, and Roundup is very effective on almost all grass species, even at reduced rates.
  • Roundup makes an excellent tankmix partner with many herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, and Naturals.
roundup resistant waterhemp
roundup resistant marestail

Though Roundup-resistant weeds like waterhemp (left) and marestail (right) pose control issues for Roundup, it still kills thousands of other weed species. Plus, the return on investment for Roundup has been further improved by recent price cuts.

While I absolutely believe Roundup will give you a good return on investment in most cases, here are a few situations where you may consider leaving Roundup out of the tank.

  • If you are already spraying paraquat or Liberty – two non-selective herbicides – adding Roundup usually doesn’t pay. Both paraquat and Liberty control almost all the same weeds Roundup does.
  • When the weather is super cold. After a hard frost in the fall or in the spring when the nighttime temps are dropping below 32 degrees, Roundup doesn’t work well. Either switch herbicides or let the weather warm up.
  • While Roundup has been labeled for use in a tankmix post-emerge in Xtend Soybeans over the last few years, and we expect it will be labeled again for 2021, we try to avoid it when possible. We believe drift and volatility are minimized with the new formulations of dicamba when they are sprayed with nothing else other than the appropriate, labeled adjuvants. What we have done on our farm is sprayed the dicamba by itself early post, then followed late post with Roundup, other herbicides, fungicide, insecticide, and Naturals.

Roundup used to be a great herbicide, but since weed tolerance and in some cases resistance has popped up, it’s no longer “great”. However, when you can still buy a “good” herbicide with broad-spectrum weed control or suppression for a couple bucks an acre, it’s typically a good investment.