A Cure for Your Herbicide Hangover

All crops are impacted when herbicide is sprayed - even those crops that are glyphosate ready. This isn't always evident on the outside, but internally the plant is struggling to metabolize the herbicide. We at ATP call this Herbicide Hangover.

Written on 05/27/15

Every year as farmers finish up seeding, they begin to think about the next task at hand: killing all of those weeds that are competing with a potential bumper crop. Farmers are ready to spray, glyphosate, pyrosulfate, bromoxynil, glufosinate and the list goes on and on. Farmers do this to kill weeds and to give the crop the best opportunity to realize its potential. What many farmers don't realize, is that when they are killing weeds, they are causing the plant stress as well. We at ATP Nutrition like to call this "Herbicide Hangover". If we could draw a parallel in our own lives, it's like having one glass of wine too many; At the time we think it's the right thing to do, but in the morning it hurts a bit and we have to take Tylenol and drink Gatorade to get us back in shape. This is not to say that we shouldn't use herbicide or drink wine, the use of herbicide is of course a must for most farmers, and maybe even the wine too - however that's up to you. The message we want to convey is that we need to have that extra boost in with the herbicide in case the plant doesn't feel all that great the next morning, post herbicide application.

To some extent, all crops are impacted when herbicide is sprayed, even those crops that are glyphosate ready. This isn't always evident on the outside, but internally the plant is struggling to metabolize the herbicide and is not focused on efficient nutrient use during this time. Other stressors such as hot dry conditions, or in recent years saturated ground conditions only add to the "Herbicide Hangover" as the plant is under increased pressure to sruvive. When the focus is on survival the plant is not focused on growing and building energy to deliver high yields but conserving its energy to ensure that some reproduction does occur at a later stage. The plant's ability to uptake nutrient from the ground via its roots is also inhibited at this time. The net result of all these pressures, is a plant that is not 100% healthy and in most cases has lost some of its genetic yield potential. There is of course various levels of stress and those stressors will vary from year to year, from low to high depending on Mother Nature and a variety of factors. However at ATP we know we can help alleviate some of that stress.

So how do we prevent this Herbicide Hangover and help to ease the stress on the plant? We use foliar nutrients to supplement the plant's needs during this time of higher stress. These foliar nutrients speed up the plants metabolism which allows the plant to metabolize the herbicide quickly and mitigate damage. ATP's ReLeaf foliar product line is also specifically designed to to give the crop the essential nutrients it requires at the particular vegetative growth stage associated with the plants herbicide timing. During this stage, the plant is growing and going through major changes such as vegetative growth, cell divison and cell elongation. The net result from this foliar application, is a healthier plant with bigger, more vigourous roots,  that is under less stress, allowing the plant to focus on growth and building energy to drive yields in the field. The benefits of ReLeaf foliar nutrition was proven in 2 Independent Field Trials conducted in 2013 by Dr. David Hume. By allowing the plant to bypass Herbicide Hangover, and to focus its energies on preserving yeild, ReLeaf reported an average increase of 3 bu/ac in Soybeans treated with both Glyphosate and ReLeaf Soybean, as opposed to Glyphosate alone.


Written by Andrew Swenson, Technical Account Manager for Southern Sask.

Andrew was born and raised on his family farm in Southern Saskatchewan, and continues to passionately pursue a career in the agriculture industry today. Andrew has nearly a decade of experience, providing him with a keen understanding of global agricultural practices and how a diversified crop nutrient program, when combined with good agronomy and science can build value for Western Canadian Farmers.