Glyphosate-Resistant Johnsongrass Raises Management Questions

• By Larry Steckel •

Johnsongrass escapes — photo by Todd Rankin

Questions continue to arise on management of glyphosate-resistant (GR) Johnsongrass in corn, soybean and cotton. GR Johnsongrass continues to become more of an issue with each passing year.

The main threat with Johnsongrass is in corn where there are few POST applied options. Judging by infestations of Johnsongrass in some corn fields, we may not be far from having to go back to the time where we grew maize dwarf mosaic (MDM) virus tolerant corn.

The questions in corn are from fields where Johnsongrass has escaped clethodim + glyphosate early burndown and Halex GT in crop (picture attached). Some of our corn is nearing V4 corn growth stage, so time is becoming an issue in these fields. The only two good options are Accent, which has a cutoff of V6 corn, and Liberty (in LL corn only), which has a cutoff of V7 corn.a

The best option is a two-shot approach with an application of Accent followed by Liberty (in LL corn only). Unfortunately, we do not have the time to wait on these earlier planted corn fields to come back with Liberty, so I would go with a single application of Accent.

Please consider that the Johnsongrass is recovering from those earlier herbicide applications and as such will be less susceptible to either Accent or Liberty applied now. At this point the best we can probably do is suppress the weed to some extent. I definitely would be surprised if these late applications provided complete control.

A good option to consider is sometime in September after the Johnsongrass has recovered some after corn harvest is to apply a high rate of clethodim then. That time of year herbicides are more readily translocated to the root as Johnsongrass prepares to over winter and therefore, an application in the fall will have the best chance to control well-established Johnsongrass.

In soybean and cotton in crop, the main “go to” is clethodim. With that herbicide use a high rate such as 16 ozs of a 1 lb clethodim product, i.e. Select Max. A sequential application of clethodim will often be needed for well-established Johnsongrass infestations.

Finally, these intense infestations of Johnsongrass did not develop overnight but rather over a period of several years. As such, it will take persistence over several years to knock back some of these well-established Johnsongrass infestations.

Dr. Larry Steckel is a University of Tennessee Extension weed specialist. He may be reached at

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