AG NEWS
AG NEWS

Don’t Get in the Weeds

  • Apr 15, 2016
Have you seen any marestail, giant ragweed or lambsquarters yet this season? If you haven’t detected these early-emerging spring weeds yet, they will probably be making their unwelcome appearance in your area soon. And you really don’t want to plant into them, expecting to control them later. You also don’t want to plant into cover crops and/or your typical winter annual weed infestations. Existing weeds, as well as cover crops, are extremely competitive with corn and soybeans for space, water, nutrients and sunlight — basically everything that enables corn and soybeans to grow.

You may have delayed planting due to using a no-till method, constant rain or other factors. But even though you may be tempted to plant into weeds and cover crops, it’s best to get rid of them first and plant into a weed-free seedbed.

Hit your fields with tillage a day or two before planting to avoid weeds emerging ahead of the crop.
This way, the ground will be completely bare when you plant and your crop can emerge with a good head start on any other weeds. This gives your crops a competitive advantage by letting them emerge and develop roots and canopies quickly. The faster your crop canopies, the less sunlight gets to the ground and, as a result, the less weed pressure you may have.

Getting your crop off to a good start may not reduce the amount of herbicide you apply, but it will provide you with flexibility in the timing of those herbicide applications — and maybe even help reduce their cost. It depends on how well the crop gets going and what kind of weed pressure you’re up against.

If you practice a no-till approach, put down herbicides before weeds get too big.
An early spring burndown followed by a herbicide application (including residual herbicides) at planting is ideal. The key is to manage weeds when they are small, so don’t delay that application.

Bottom line: Do what you can to gain a competitive edge over weed pressure. Starting weed-free will give you the leg up you need to give your crops the best chance at success.



Don’t Get in the Weeds

  • Apr 15, 2016
Have you seen any marestail, giant ragweed or lambsquarters yet this season? If you haven’t detected these early-emerging spring weeds yet, they will probably be making their unwelcome appearance in your area soon. And you really don’t want to plant into them, expecting to control them later. You also don’t want to plant into cover crops and/or your typical winter annual weed infestations. Existing weeds, as well as cover crops, are extremely competitive with corn and soybeans for space, water, nutrients and sunlight — basically everything that enables corn and soybeans to grow.

You may have delayed planting due to using a no-till method, constant rain or other factors. But even though you may be tempted to plant into weeds and cover crops, it’s best to get rid of them first and plant into a weed-free seedbed.

Hit your fields with tillage a day or two before planting to avoid weeds emerging ahead of the crop.
This way, the ground will be completely bare when you plant and your crop can emerge with a good head start on any other weeds. This gives your crops a competitive advantage by letting them emerge and develop roots and canopies quickly. The faster your crop canopies, the less sunlight gets to the ground and, as a result, the less weed pressure you may have.

Getting your crop off to a good start may not reduce the amount of herbicide you apply, but it will provide you with flexibility in the timing of those herbicide applications — and maybe even help reduce their cost. It depends on how well the crop gets going and what kind of weed pressure you’re up against.

If you practice a no-till approach, put down herbicides before weeds get too big.
An early spring burndown followed by a herbicide application (including residual herbicides) at planting is ideal. The key is to manage weeds when they are small, so don’t delay that application.

Bottom line: Do what you can to gain a competitive edge over weed pressure. Starting weed-free will give you the leg up you need to give your crops the best chance at success.