Get Out of the Weeds!
Step One: Determine the extent of the problem and talk with your agronomist about the best postemergence herbicide recommendations based on the weed spectrum in the field and crop.
Step Two: Once you get a handle on a herbicide program, diligent scouting must be on your radar for the remainder of the season to manage any weed outbreaks. Also, watch out for insects such as cutworms and armyworms that are attracted to weeds.
Step Three: At the end of the season, work with your agronomist to create a weed-management plan for next season based on your observations of your weed challenges this year. Initiate that plan in the fall and continue working it into next spring. It could mean that if you normally make your own fall burndown applications, for example, you may need to consider hiring a custom applicator if you find yourself strapped for time.
Unfortunately, even if you make the appropriate herbicide applications, your weeds may return. In these cases, your agronomist may recommend a second postemergence herbicide application to help prevent yield reduction due to weed competition or insect damage.
My colleague, Mark Glady, has this handy tip for effective weed control applications: onto, into, “thru” and do. Your herbicide applications must:
- Adequately contact the weeds. (ONTO)
- Be absorbed in sufficient quantities. (INTO)
- Move within the weed to the site of action. (THRU)
- Reach toxic levels at the site of action. (DO)
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