• Crop Protection
  • Nov 05, 2018

Scout Now to Get Ahead of Spring Weeds

Looking through corn rows during harvest
A proactive approach to crop protection starts at harvest. Whether you’ve already finished harvest or are about to wrap up, your view from the cab is the perfect vantage point to evaluate your 2018 weed management strategy. Knowing what worked — and what didn’t — will help you make the decisions to start strong next season.
Identify weed escapes
Starting clean and staying clean is the ultimate goal with weed control, but in order to do that you’ll need to know what you’re up against. Keep a watchful eye on your fields during harvest and note what weed species you find and where you find them.
Weed escapes don’t just limit crop yields and grain quality; they can also become compounding challenges by adding to a field’s seed bank. By making good observations and notes about your weed escapes, you’ll know where to focus your scouting efforts next spring.
Review your plan
The relative calm of life after harvest provides an opportunity to meet with your trusted advisor and look back at your 2018 weed control strategy. The goal here is to determine the cause of weed escapes and create a plan that minimizes the possibility of them showing up again next year.
You’ll want to think about what herbicide tank mixes you used, how you applied them and what size the target weeds were. Perhaps the weeds were simply too large to control effectively when herbicides were applied. If so, you’ll want to adjust your 2019 scouting schedule.
Control fall weeds
Depending on the weeds you find during harvest, a fall burndown application may be warranted. Some troublesome species that show resistance to certain modes of action can be just 2 inches tall and already have seed heads. Other species may still germinate in the fall, despite cold weather.
If needed, an effective fall burndown herbicide can give your next crop an early advantage against resource competition in the spring.
Plan for next year
Most important, the weed control plan you choose should be effective at preventing and controlling herbicide-resistant weeds. That requires rotating multiple modes of action every year. Even if you will be planting different crops and your weed control strategy worked well last year, it is imperative for you to incorporate new modes of action into your plan.
This also requires a season-long commitment to weed control. Start clean by using an effective preplant burndown application with residual activity, then stay clean with a postemergence program that layers residuals and includes multiple modes of action.
Additionally, adjuvants should complement the herbicides that are used. Adjuvant choice can have a considerable impact on product performance. Because of that, WinField United tests every product under broad conditions for several years before release and provides training on adjuvant use and tank mixes at Answer Plot® spray clinics.
Talk with your local trusted advisor about scouting as you harvest and evaluating what you find. Determining your next weed management steps now helps you get an early start on the 2019 season.

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