Controlling Weeds with Herbicides
Farmers use a variety of weed management solutions to control weed growth and herbicides are one of the tools farmers depend on to fight invasive plants in their fields. Herbicides are often used before planting to help clear a cover crop or weeds, and after planting, e.g. when used in conjunction with safeners or herbicide-tolerant crops. Farmers consider several factors including crops grown, season, weather, and weed pressure when deciding which type of herbicide is best and when to spray.
Knowing that every field, crop, and farmer is different; each with their own needs, challenges, and goals – Bayer provides farmers with a wide array of herbicides. In addition, as part of product stewardship, Bayer provides farmers with agronomic best practices and training to ensure the appropriate safe use of herbicides. In addition, farmers use advanced technologies like GPS guided sprayers and precision application sprayers to ensure they’re spraying the right amount in the right place at the right time.
Early weed control involved practices such as hand weeding, which required a great deal of human labor and difficult working conditions. Farmers also adopted practices like tilling the soil to help eliminate weeds from season to season. While effective, researchers later determined that these practices impacted soil health and released greenhouse gases contributing to climate change.
Synthetic chemical herbicides, first introduced in the 1940s, have helped farmers protect against damaging weeds. Further innovation and testing of these herbicides has led to more targeted solutions that help reduce the environmental impact of agriculture by enabling no-till and reduced tillage practices.
When used in combination of digital tools and data science the impact of agriculture on the environment is further reduced. The ability to create more targeted, precise application of herbicides allows farmers to be more productive on their land, reducing the need to expand land usage, and lowers the impact of herbicides on non-targeted plants.
Bayer understands the importance of protecting our environment and the health of the ecosystems in which farms are a part of. This is why environmental safety is a guiding principle in our product development and the responsible use of our products is in our highest interest. We test our products in a wide range of test systems under different conditions and high international standards to prevent unacceptable effects to the environment.
In addition to environmental testing our herbicide products also go through rigorous safety testing to assess impact on human health.
Herbicides are just one tool farmers have at their disposal when fighting weeds. When combined with high-quality seeds and the latest scientific developments in an integrated weed management approach, herbicides help farmers grow enough with less environmental impact.