Time is always a precious commodity on the farm, especially during planting and harvest. Additionally, winter wheat growers know brome control makes time even more precious, realizing that a missed spring application can drop yields significantly. As a result, it is necessary for winter wheat growers to find ways to relieve pressure during critical days in the spring.

A strategy that involves preparing wheat acres in the fall effectively stretches the season and alleviates the time crunch of applying a post-emergent herbicide on winter wheat while also establishing spring crops.

“To control bromes post-emergent, you have to be early, which means a fall application or very early spring, and this can be difficult because of fluctuating temperatures,” said Ed Davis, science research associate, Montana State University. “By applying a burndown herbicide in the fall, growers can already have something working on brome and gain a wider window of opportunity in the spring to apply herbicides when the weather is more conducive.”

Most post-emergent brome product labels require three-leaf development for best results; however this often does not occur due to unpredictable weather, precluding the opportunity for a post-emergent application.

“Applying a herbicide that has brome control with glyphosate as a burndown prior to planting or before wheat emergence is a good approach for controlling brome,” said Davis. “This combination will help to control the first flush and then leave a residue of herbicide behind that helps suppress and control brome going into winter months.”

Instead of targeting fully established weeds in the spring, early weed removal in the fall is critical for achieving the highest-yielding crop. Independent studies show if downy brome emerges within 14 days of a winter wheat crop, it can reduce yield by 10 to 20 percent. In addition to competing with yield, emerged bromes also consume fertilizer, making 20 to 25 percent of applied nitrogen not available to the wheat crop.

“If you don’t leave something in the field to control the fall-germinating and -emerging brome, then it’s a race to get in the field in the spring to do a post-emergent application,” added Davis. “Overwintering plants have already tapped into moisture and nitrogen resources and are very difficult to control, both from a growth standpoint and because of opportune field time.”

Weather conditions and timing constraints make treating emerged brome difficult – ultimately resulting in yield loss and therefore, making early control of brome grasses extremely important. By adding a burndown herbicide to their current weed-management programs, growers can relax through the winter knowing their wheat isn’t competing with yield-robbing brome.

“Growers looking to protect their winter wheat yields and gain time-management flexibility in the spring should consider choosing Pre-Pare Burndown Herbicide,” said Chad Effertz, herbicide development manager at Arysta LifeScience.

With continued challenges of trying to control post-emergent brome, a two-pass herbicide approach can help growers have a competitive edge against brome, and gain season-long control in winter wheat.

“Pre-Pare as a first-pass, pre-emergent treatment will help growers gain early control and provide a wider window of application to apply a post-emergent spray in the spring,” said Davis. “It is another tool to help with the competitive nature of winter wheat and give growers the most favorable situation in the spring to do a follow-up if necessary.”

More information is available at www.arystalifescience.us.