How BASF is preserving chemistries for better weed control in corn

Research Triangle Park, NC (July 1, 2024) – Palmer amaranth and waterhemp are making more headlines due to their resistance against HPPD-inhibiting herbicides, particularly in key midwestern states like Kansas, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin. BASF is taking the month of July to raise awareness of herbicide resistance across the Corn Belt to help preserve existing chemistries for seasons to come.

When HPPD-inhibiting herbicides first entered the market, they were heralded as a revolutionary solution for control of invasive weed species, becoming the foundation for many growers’ management programs. HPPD-inhibitors disrupt a weed’s ability to photosynthesize, which makes them unable to absorb energy and grow. Generally, chemistry is not designed to withstand decades of reliance and growers are now seeing the effects of overuse through resistance.

“Invasive weeds not only compete for vital resources on early-season corn stands but can also significantly impact yield,” said Josh Putman, Technical Marketing Manager at BASF. “A six-inch weed, while seemingly small, can cause up to 7% yield loss in corn production if left uncontrolled[1]. Diversifying a weed management program is crucial to effectively controlling existing weed species in a field, subsequently reducing the weed seed bank and preserving existing chemistries on the market.”

When applied correctly, herbicides with multiple active ingredients, along with cultural practices like crop rotation, can create an integrated weed control approach that keeps weed pressures at bay.

Surtain™ herbicide, the newest available tool for HPPD resistance from BASF, combines Group 14 and 15 chemistries for a unique mode of action that’s not reliant on HPPD-inhibiting chemistry. Labeled for pre- and early post-emergence, this first-of-its-kind premix works by protecting one of its active ingredients until water hits the chemical and activates it, helping maintain crop safety while unleashing powerful PPO residual chemistry early in the season.

“With HPPD-resistance products widely used across much of the Corn Belt, post-emergence applications are becoming less effective against waterhemp and Palmer amaranth,” said Putman. “We created Surtain herbicide with the goal of adding another tool to that toolbox to try and preserve existing HPPD products and reduce overreliance, which is what led to resistance in the first place.”

Corn growers can further diversify their weed control with Verdict® herbicide or Status® herbicide from BASF to help preserve the longevity of Surtain herbicide. Pairing these herbicides in a management program delivers strong residual control of large-seeded broadleaf weeds without atrazine or an HPPD inhibitor. The premix of Group 19 and Group 4 in Status herbicide as a planned application can help build a foundation of weed control and reduces the need for rescue applications later in the growing season, reducing the number of trips through the field and putting money back in growers’ pockets.

BASF is committed to helping farmers doing the Biggest Job on Earth utilize all the tools in a grower’s toolbox against weeds. To learn more about how you can diversify your weed control program and help prevent resistance, talk to your local BASF technical representative or retailer.

Always read and follow label directions. Surtain is a trademark of BASF. Verdict and Status are registered trademarks of BASF. © 2024 BASF Corporation. All rights reserved. 

About BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division

Everything we do, we do for the love of farming. Farming is fundamental to provide enough healthy and affordable food for a rapidly growing population, while reducing environmental impacts. That’s why we are working with partners and experts to integrate sustainability criteria into all business decisions. With €900 million in 2023, we continue to invest in a strong R&D pipeline, combining innovative thinking with practical action in the field. Our solutions are purpose-designed for different crop systems. Connecting seeds and traits, crop protection products, digital tools and sustainability approaches, to help deliver the best possible outcomes for farmers, growers and our other stakeholders along the value chain. With teams in the lab, field, office and in production, we do everything in our power to build a sustainable future for agriculture. In 2023, our division generated sales of €10.1 billion. For more information, please visit or our social media channels.

About BASF

BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has approximately 16,000 employees in North America and had sales of $20.5 billion in 2023. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, visit

At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Around 112,000 employees in the BASF Group contribute to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio comprises six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of €68.9 billion in 2023. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the United States. Further information at

[1] Knezevic, S. (2015). The critical period of weed control in corn. CropWatch.