Early Season Weed Scouting and Herbicide Recommendations
Other than getting seeds in the ground, there is one other item at the top of our to do lists: keeping our fields clean and giving our crop the best potential start. Weed pressure can be our biggest detractor from yield, likely even more than disease or insect pressure, so it's critical we do what we can to control weeds early. We are talking about that this week, with some of our top tips for early season weeds.
1. Scout thoroughly and often.
As warm weather and rain hit, weeds will start growing like, well, weeds. Things can change fast during this time, so we would encourage you to check fields thoroughly and often. And remember as weed growth maturity and species diversity changes, so should our application plans. When you are out in the field take note of distribution of weeds across the field, type of weed species, and size of weeds.
2. Target weeds as small as you can.
Our best weed control is always going to be when we target plants as small as possible. By targeting applications based on weed height, we are more effectively able to plan for herbicide effectiveness as well as gauge competitiveness against our crops. For the most part, we are targeting weeds at 4 inches or less. Another good frame of reference is weeds shorter than a pop can.
3. Be adaptable with your plan
As conditions change, so should our plans. It’s wise to set up plan A, and think through some plan B’s as weed height, species diversity, and weather keep us on our toes. If rainy conditions keep us out of the field, check your product labels to see if the products you were planning on are able to compensate for larger weed sizes.
4. Use chemistry with a broad range of applications
While we are on the topic of a changing plan, one of our best options is to make a plan that fits our changing scenario. Prioritizing modes of multiple modes of action and chemistries with a wide application window give us more options and excellent control. This keeps us from needing to pivot between chemistry options and frees us up to focus on the next project in the growing season.
We hope these tips are a good reminder for you. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to any of us with questions on weed control and chemistry options.