This year, best management practices, hyper-vigilance and a zero-tolerance policy for escapes will be critical to get ahead of weed seed banks. Have a plan, and several backup plans, ready ahead of planting.
As you plan your weed attack, first reflect on last year. What went right, wrong and what should you expect for the weed seed bank? What should you do this year if you’re in another late-planting or high moisture situation?
“Weed control suffered in later-planted fields because weeds were so much bigger when tillage was done,” says Mike Kavanaugh, AgriGold national agronomy manager. “If you don’t change tillage to match weed size you might not get the weeds uprooted.”
In addition, some farmers weren’t able to perform timely herbicide passes because of excessive soil moisture. If that was the case on your farm, be proactive against the weed seed bank.
“Try to put pre-plant or pre-emergent residuals down as close to planting as possible,” says Dana Harder, Burrus agronomist.
This year it’ll be critical to make sure you have herbicides with multiple modes of action and strong residuals to hold off weeds, he adds. Continue scouting after application to ensure adequate control.
Resistance should still be top of mind. Use multiple, effective modes of action to kill problem weeds in fields.
“Treat every field like we have multiple resistances out there,” says Nick Hustedde, FMC technical support representative. “Also think broad spectrum and about species shifts. If you chase a single species with a herbicide, another species is chasing you.”
Keep an eye on the weather and take advantage of windows as they’re available—whether it’s to plant, spray or scout.
Read more on weed control here: