• Crop Protection

Take Care of Early Spring Weeds Before Planting

Close up of a spray nozzle distributing a burndown herbicide.

If you deal with winter or spring annual weeds in your fields, it's important to consider including a spring burndown herbicide application. Winter annuals, including marestail, resume growing as soon as temperatures get warm. Not only do they steal water and nutrients from the soil, but these weeds can also create planting challenges. Therefore, it's essential to address these troublesome weeds to eliminate their competitive advantage over the crops you intend to plant. As you prepare for spring, follow these four tips to establish clean fields and give your crop a strong start.

Scout Fields to Identify Weeds

Identifying troublesome early-season weeds can help you plan the most effective spring burndown application. Marestail, in particular, has shown resistance to glyphosate and ALS-inhibitor herbicides.
Using alternative herbicide active ingredients like those in Dimetric® or Dimetric Charged can increase the consistency of marestail control. Both herbicides offer residual benefits that can help extend weed control to keep fields clean during critical stand establishment. 2,4-D and dicamba are also effective for spring burndown applications.

Make Timely Spring Burndown Applications

As mentioned, winter annual weeds start growing as soon as temperatures warm. That means by the time you are ready to plant, those weeds may have already entered reproductive stages, making them more challenging to control. Managing weeds when they're still small will help increase the efficacy of your herbicide application.

Follow Herbicide Label Instructions

It won't pay to cut corners with your spring burndown applications. Consult the herbicide’s label to ensure you use the correct carrier type, volume, nozzles and partner products based on your field’s weed pressure and environmental conditions.
Also, keep in mind that weed control is most effective when weeds are actively growing and metabolizing herbicide active ingredients. Generally, sunny, warm days with temperatures of 60 degrees or above and nighttime temperatures above 40 degrees typically lead to more successful applications.

Boost Herbicide Performance

In 2024, we will likely face increasing weed resistance, so getting effective weed control on the first pass will be even more critical. Adding the right tank-mix partners, including effective adjuvants, can help improve herbicide coverage and weed control. But don’t trust your crop protection investments to just any adjuvant. Ask for data and research to back up product claims and ensure products perform in your fields.    
Even small weeds can rob emerging crops of valuable moisture and nutrients, limiting yield potential. Adding an effective adjuvant like StrikeLock®, InterLock® or Class Act® NG® is an economical way to enhance herbicide performance and ensure you’re getting the most out of the dollars you’ve spent.
StrikeLock and InterLock adjuvants are excellent at reducing drift and improving deposition. The more droplets you can get to the plant, the better performance you’ll get from your herbicide. StrikeLock is a methylated seed oil designed specifically for oil-loving herbicides while InterLock adjuvant is an all-purpose drift and deposition aid. Class Act NG adjuvant is a top-shelf, AMS-based water conditioner that also includes nonionic surfactant and CornSorb® technology for maximum weed control.
For more information about spring burndown applications, contact your local WinField United retailer.
All photos are either the property of WinField United or used with permission.

© 2024 WinField United. 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 to be mindful of how such agronomic conditions could impact results. Class Act, CornSorb, Dimetric, InterLock, NG, StrikeLock and WinField are trademarks of WinField United. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.