Three questions to ask yourself from the current growing season
Learning from the past can aid in future weed management plans and decisions. Take the time to consider how the execution of your weed management plan could be improved next year to get one step closer to weed eradication.
Weed management is no easy task; it takes careful planning and discussions with trusted advisors like professional crop scouts, ag retail experts, and crop protection representatives.
Consider these three questions to prepare and plan for next year.
1. How did weather impact my herbicide management plan?
While weather can’t be controlled, knowing how weather impacts your herbicide management plan can help you adjust. Weather can impact the effectiveness of an herbicide application. For example, an excessively wet spring can delay burndown, and, if a herbicide has been applied, there’s also the potential for leaching. According to the University of Illinois, a 2.5-inch rainfall can cause soil-applied herbicides to leach by 50% and up to 2.5 inches in depth. At this depth, the herbicide is below the weed seed germination zone, which can lead to weed escapes.
Cold spring temperature — in May, for example — can impact postemergence herbicide performance. Average daily temperatures that dip and remain below 50 degrees can add to crop stress, and weeds may not be able to metabolize the herbicide.
Herbicides can also be challenged in hot and dry conditions because many weed species develop thicker leaf cuticles that act as barriers to herbicide absorption. Add an adjuvant to help enhance herbicide effectiveness in these conditions. Read the label to understand any restrictions.
Keep a close eye on the forecast to help with herbicide efficacy.
2. Was the needed level of weed control achieved?
If the answer is no, let’s explore why.
3. Are there management approaches that should be considered for next year?
If you continually saw weed escapes throughout the growing season, it might be time to consider additional management approaches to weed control, whether they are agronomic, cultural or preventative weed management tactics.
For example, consider cultivating fields, utilizing narrower row spacing when planting next or cover crops for weed suppression. According to Clemson University, cover crops can inhibit weed germination and reduce shoot dry weights for up to six weeks. An article stated (read here):
There are many weed control options to explore and research available to review. We encourage you to experiment and be innovative on your farm to address your weed issues.
For more information on recommendations for effective weed control options, talk to your local retailer or BASF representative and visit operationweederadication.com.