Waterhemp Battle In Wisconsin Continues

For over a decade, Wisconsin farmers have learned more than they ever expected about waterhemp. This weed, which is part of the pigweed family, has cut yields, confounded consultants on control and spread literally statewide. Now, Dr. Rodrigo Werle, UW-Extension Weed Specialist, is trying to find answers on why control measures are failing again in 2023.

“So it was a dry year, and weed control in dry years is always more difficult.” Werle tells Pam Jahnke, “But we’ve gotten more reports again this year of control measures failing in both corn and soybean fields – across multiple platforms of herbicides.”

Werle is partnering with the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board and the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association to try and get deep seed answers on what’s it’s going to take to tackle this weed.

The seed collection effort that Werle has launched will require nothing but time from participating farmers. He anticipates he might have some of the first “answers” about what lies deep within that waterhemp seed that can resist all the herbicide measures by next summer.