A crop consultant or ag retailer agronomist should take time to talk to farmers about whether or not a fall herbicide program should be used on specific fields. Not making the treatment could spell time delays and cost in the spring for the farmer.
Following are questions and discussion points for helping a farmer make a decision. The answers to the questions should come from crop protection representative, agronomy department representatives and crop consultants initiating the discussion. There are many options that usually need discussed.
The discussions should include the following questions being asked farmers and the ag professional having answers to how the farmer is expected to respond. The ag professional needs to be prepared with answers appropriate for the specific sales regions.
1) Have winter annual weeds caused your soils to be slower in warm up or drying in the spring?
2) Does your burndown weed control program just before planting fail to control the winter annuals that have grown in the field, or do you have to make more than one herbicide application for burndown in the spring?
3) Are you usually strapped for time in the spring burndown and planting seasons?
4) Have you been delayed in corn planting because you had spring herbicide burndown applications to make?
5) Have you noticed or worried about winter annual weeds increasing the insect pests in corn or soybean crops around planting time in the spring?
6) Would your soil types and typical spring soil conditions be appropriate for making a fall-applied herbicide program without major concern about off-site movement?
7) Would there have to be changes to your total weed-control program if you did apply herbicides in the fall?
8) Is it likely that with the weed mix you have in your field that allowing winter annual weeds to survive provides suppression of typical emerging summer annual weeds?
9) Can you find a fall application product that will not lock you into a single cropping system in the spring?
10) Are fall annual weeds playing a role in reducing erosion on your farm?