Volunteer corn can pose a problem for soybean production. Soybean yield loss can be significant depending on the density of the volunteer corn. Learn the best control options for managing this "weed" in your soybean fields.
Recent development of Enlist corn allows the use of 2,4-D choline (Enlist One), glyphosate (Roundup PowerMax), glufosinate (Liberty), and aryloxyphenoxypropio-nate (FOPs) herbicides for controlling grass and broadleaf weeds. However, volunteer Enlist corn plants can cause infestation in subsequent Enlist E3 soybean (resistant to 2,4-D, glyphosate, and glufosinate) in areas where a corn-soybean rotation is commonly practiced. Read more in a study about control of volunteer Enlist corn in Enlist E3 soybean.
We can debate whether or not volunteer corn is truly a “weed,” but it is definitely a problem for soybean farmers. According to research conducted in South Dakota, soybean yield loss was 8 to 9% when volunteer corn density was about one plant per ten square feet. Yield loss increased to 71% at volunteer corn densities of about one plant per square foot. One of the factors that makes volunteer corn management difficult in soybeans is that this corn is typically resistant to glyphosate and/or glufosinate. However, there are some steps farmers can take early in the growing season to manage volunteer corn in soybean crops.