Home News Michigan Ag News Farmers are ‘Horse Trading’ to get Liberty Herbicide Amid Shortage

Farmers are ‘Horse Trading’ to get Liberty Herbicide Amid Shortage

Herbicide shortages remain an issue for U.S. farmers. Glyphosate and glufosinate shortages were predicted this winter and had some farmers scrambling to get what they needed.

“My sense right now is that there really isn’t too much urgency with regard to a glyphosate, or Roundup, shortage but there definitely is with Liberty,” shares Purdue University Professor of Weed Science Dr. Bill Johnson. That’s what he’s hearing from his industry contacts.

So, how are farmers dealing with the Liberty shortage?

“My understanding is that a lot of these custom applicators and even some farmers are doing some horse trading to get Liberty where it’s needed the most. They’re trading products just trying to make sure they’ve got enough Liberty to at least cover one postemergence application.”

Johnson says Roundup has historically been a more broad-spectrum herbicide and you have more flexibility to make mistakes with it. With Liberty, there’s a lot less flexibility.

“Liberty behaves more like a contact herbicide. It works much better on a nice, hot, sunny, humid day than it does under cool, cloudy weather conditions, and so you have to you have to manage Liberty more aggressively than you do Roundup. So, it’s really important to get yourself in a situation where you’ve maximized the activity of that herbicide and you’re not in a respray type of a situation with a failed application with the first treatment.”

Johnson says they’ve not seen any problems in terms of efficacy with Liberty when it’s extremely hot and humid as it’s been this week. In fact, he says it makes it work almost as good as glyphosate.

Johnson discusses this and much more in the Purdue Crop Chat Podcast, a regular podcast produced by our sister network Hoosier Ag Today. While focusing primarily on Indiana crop conditions with the Purdue Extension corn and soybean specialists, many of the topics covered would be applicable to Michigan corn and soybeans as well. Check it out wherever you listen to podcasts.