AG NEWS
AG NEWS

Gear Up for Fall Burndown Now

  • Jul 20, 2018
Clean fields in the spring. On-time planting. Fewer pest havens. These are just a few of the benefits of an effective fall burndown. It’s not too early to think about your burndown strategy and consult your local trusted advisor about how to limit next season’s weed pressures. Here are a few tips to get you started.
 
1. Take a look back.
Did you do a fall burndown last year? If so, what worked well? What didn’t? If you didn’t do a fall burndown, were there any consequences? What weeds were most prevalent in your fields in 2018? Answering these questions will help you and your agronomist devise a plan and sort through what herbicides would work best on your acres.
 
2. Take annuals down.
Winter annuals germinate in autumn, so fall burndown is the perfect opportunity to nip these pests, which include fall-emerging marestail, chickweed and henbit, in the bud. A fall burndown can also provide some residual protection against summer annuals, but…
 
3. Don’t rely solely on residual protection.
Even if you do a highly effective fall burndown to control fall weeds, you’ll still need to apply a preemergence herbicide in the spring to control waterhemp, Palmer amaranth, and other weeds and grasses. Your fields will look clean in the spring, but don’t be deceived. Put on the preemergence herbicide for protection.
 
4. No-till? No question.
If you are a no-till farmer, you should absolutely consider a fall burndown. Overwintered marestail, for example, is extremely difficult to control in the spring, and you’ll find yourself in a lot of trouble trying to plant in fields when it is actively growing. It’s imperative to control chickweeds and henbit in the fall too. Clean fields in the spring mean better seedbed preparation and timely planting.
 
5. Don’t forget the adjuvant.
The goal of any herbicide application any time of year is to get as much product as possible to the target weed or soil, so choosing the right adjuvant for the burndown system you use is key. Consider adjuvants such as high-surfactant oil concentrates (HSOCs) or methylated seed oils (MSOs) that work well in challenging environmental conditions. Choose a product that works effectively with a wide range of herbicides to improve spray deposition, enhance canopy penetration and manage drift. Your agronomist can recommend the most appropriate adjuvant for your situation.
 
6. Minimize pest havens.
A fall burndown gives insects fewer places to hide and thrive. If, for some reason, you are unable to do a fall burndown, you can spray an insecticide in the spring; however, you can also rely on seed traits to help control pests. For example, you can plant corn seed with a trait that offers cutworm, corn borer or earworm control.
 
7. Time applications right. (Drier is better.)
To avoid heavy dew, don’t spray early in the morning. Wait until the sun burns it off. Mid-morning to evening is the best time to apply a fall burndown herbicide. Another reason to spray in the fall is that soils are usually drier. This helps minimize compaction compared to waiting until spring when soils are potentially wetter.
 
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 get an early start by doing an effective fall burndown. You’ll be thankful you did come spring. Talk with your local trusted advisor now to begin.