Winter/spring options for winter annual broadleaf control
Another important consideration with herbicide application timing is crop tolerance at different application timings. For example, 2,4-D should not be applied in the fall or until wheat is fully tillered in the spring. On the other hand, any herbicide containing dicamba can be applied after wheat has two leaves, but should not be applied once the wheat gets close to jointing in the spring, Herbicides containing dicamba include Banvel, Clarity, Rave, Pulsar, Agility SG, and several generic dicamba products. Dicamba is one of the most effective herbicides for kochia control, but if the wheat is starting to joint, it shouldn’t be applied. At that point, Starane Ultra or other herbicides containing fluroxypyr would be a safer option and could still provide good kochia control. Most other broadleaf herbicides in wheat can be sprayed from the time that wheat starts tillering until the early jointing stages of growth, but the label should always be consulted to confirm the recommended treatment stages before application.
There has been some discussion about wheat tolerance to herbicides, especially when applied with fertilizer carrier. The best advice regarding crop safety with herbicide-fertilizer combinations and application timing is to follow the label guidelines. We generally see minimal crop injury and no yield loss from topdress fertilizer/residual herbicide applications during the winter months. However, these combinations can often cause considerable burn to the wheat if applied when the crop is actively growing and with warmer weather. The foliar burn is generally temporary in nature and the wheat usually will recover if good growing conditions persist.
Research at Hays several years ago found as much as 47% foliar injury to the wheat 4 days after treatment following a late March treatment of Amber plus 2,4-D, but wheat recovered and yields were not reduced. However, research in Nebraska did show some yield loss from Ally plus 2,4-D applications with fertilizer applied in late April to more advanced wheat and under moisture stress conditions. Crop injury with herbicide-fertilizer combinations will depend on the total amount of fertilizer applied, dilution with water, and the addition of surfactant. Again the herbicide label provides the best guidelines regarding if, when, and how herbicides can be applied with fertilizer.
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