Crop desiccation at its finest

Benefits of applying herbicide applications pre-harvest

As harvest season approaches, a farmer’s work is far from over. There’s plenty to do before they can breathe a brief sigh of relief and begin their planning for next year’s growing season. Crop desiccation is just one of the many tasks on a grower’s list, Ken Diebert, BASF Technical Service Representative, shares what benefits growers can receive when applying a herbicide to a crop shortly before harvest.


Mitigating uneven growth


This year, farmers across the country have faced unusually wet weather, creating less favorable growing conditions, especially in northern states. As a result, effective weed management has proven to be a challenge, causing some crops to grow unevenly.


“With the damp conditions and excess rain we’ve had this growing season crop desiccation can help put things back on track by promoting more uniform growth across the crop,” said Diebert.


Proactive weed management


When herbicides are applied shortly before growers kick off the harvest season, they’re not just protecting their current crop, but future crops as well.


“With advances in weed management technology, herbicide resistance is a concern for many growers,” said Diebert. “That’s why it’s important to think ahead and be proactive, even as you’re wrapping up this season”


A herbicide like Sharpen® herbicide, when used as a crop desiccant, is an excellent tool for preventing weed resistance into the next growing season.


Staying ahead of the game


Crop desiccation can also be used as a strategy for accelerating the harvest process. Desiccation dries the crop, making it ready to harvest sooner. This is especially significant following this year’s growing conditions since many crops may still be too wet to harvest.


“Not to mention, the sooner you harvest, the sooner you can get to planning for the coming year,” added Diebert. “Desiccating a crop can really help make up for lost time, and even put you one step ahead.”


Additionally, desiccating a crop eliminates excess green plant material, keeping harvest equipment from having to do extra work and reducing wear and tear on machinery.


Whether through improving equipment efficiency or mitigating uneven crop growth, crop desiccation has helpful benefits that can aid growers as harvest approaches.


Growers can learn more about using Sharpen® herbicide as a crop desiccant by visiting


Always read and follow label directions.


Sharpen is a registered trademark of BASF.


About BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division


With a rapidly growing population, the world is increasingly dependent on our ability to develop and maintain sustainable agriculture and healthy environments. Working with farmers, agricultural professionals, pest management experts and others, it is our role to help make this possible. That’s why we invest in a strong R&D pipeline and broad portfolio, including seeds and traits, chemical and biological crop protection, soil management, plant health, pest control and digital farming. With expert teams in the lab, field, office and in production, we connect innovative thinking and down-to-earth action to create real world ideas that work – for farmers, society and the planet. In 2017, our division generated sales of €5.7 billion. For more information, please visit or any of our social media channels.


About BASF


At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The more than 115,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into five segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials & Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. BASF generated sales of €64.5 billion in 2017. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information at