• Crop Protection
  • Mar 15, 2021

4 Tips for Successful Weed Control

Spring is almost here, and you know that the emergence of troublesome weeds won’t be far behind. If you haven’t done so already, talk with your local trusted advisor about your weed-control strategy for this season. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you formulate a plan to tackle weeds throughout their growth cycles.


1. Look at last year.

Evaluate the performance of your 2020 weed-control strategy to see what worked well and what you’d like to change. Identify last year’s most prevalent weeds and create your plan for controlling them first. Your local agronomist can equip you with resources — for example, university research and/or Answer Plot® program data — that can help you make good agronomic and economic decisions for your fields.


2. Start with a clean field at planting.

Use tillage or an effective burndown application to get crops off to a weed-free start. An effective herbicide strategy consists of using multiple modes of action, correct herbicide rates and timely postemergence applications. In no-till cropping systems, I usually recommend planning for a fall burndown. Fall-emerging marestail is very difficult to control with herbicides in the spring, especially in parts of the Midwest. If you didn’t do a fall burndown, your spring burndown will need to use effective modes of action to control any winter annuals and/or marestail in your fields.


I recommend using three effective modes of action for any weed-management program. This strategy consists of residuals and postemergence herbicides. The postemergence herbicides should be applied in a timely manner and offer another residual to protect against later-emerging weeds such as waterhemp and Palmer amaranth. This can be an effective strategy for both traditional tillage and no-till systems. Be sure to check herbicide labels for plant growth restrictions on postemergence herbicides.  


3. Choose the right adjuvant.

The goal is to get all the herbicide you possibly can to the target weed or soil, so choosing the right adjuvant for whatever burndown system you use is key. 

  • InterLock® adjuvant works effectively with a range of herbicides to improve spray deposition and manage drift. 

  • OnTarget® adjuvant is designed specifically for use with dicamba herbicide chemistries to reduce driftable fines and enhance canopy penetration.

  • Learn how new adjuvants such as the OPTIFY™ lineup can help deliver strong performance in a convenient, economical package. For information, talk with your local retailer.


4. Know your weed emergence schedule.

As I mentioned above, marestail can emerge in the fall, but it’s one of the earlier weeds that also emerges in the spring. Another early emerger is giant ragweed. With these weeds, an early burndown application is important to achieve adequate control. Waterhemp and Palmer amaranth can emerge over a longer period of time — from early spring to peak emergence in June and early July. So make sure you use an effective preemergence herbicide, but also use a layered residual herbicide postemergence for late-appearing Palmer amaranth and waterhemp.


Large weeds result in limited options and higher costs for you. It pays to be proactive and consistent to achieve season-long weed control, so be sure to contact your local trusted advisor to get an early start.


All photos are either the property of WinField United or used with permission.
Important: Before use always read and follow label instructions. Crop performance is dependent on several factors many of which are beyond the control of WinField United, including without limitation, soil type, pest pressures, agronomic practices, and weather conditions. Growers are encouraged to consider data from multiple locations, over multiple years, and be mindful of how such agronomic conditions could impact results.
© 2021 WinField United. Answer Plot®, InterLock®, OnTarget®, OPTIFY™ and WinField® are trademarks of WinField United.

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