Harvest Lags Shift Burndown Focus To Spring

The door is quickly closing on any remaining fall burndown applications. 

At the end of October, USDA still calculated roughly 60% of the corn had to be harvested, and 40% of soybeans were still in the field. 

As cold, wet weather patterns blanketed the Corn Belt, the priorities of harvest and then fall fertility were heightened. 

But retailers and farmers should not underestimate the value of weed control, says Jason Haegele with WinField United. 

“The current status of harvest is going to limit some of our opportunities for fall burndown,” he says. “There’s a lot of corn yet to be harvested, and that’s a primary driver to whether there fall burndown applications will be made.”

However, he notes, winter annuals have been an increasing problem to manage. 

“Over time, with differences in climate and the natural progression of weed populations, we’ve seen an increased prevalence of winter annuals,” Haegele explains. “One of the main drivers for fall burndown applications has been marestail in no-till soybean acres.” 

He notes despite the weather challenges, 2019 provides two opportunities for ag retailers to seize in discussing burndown application: 

  1. Having a conversation about weed control strategies is an opportunity for retailers to position themselves as local agronomic experts. 

    “By targeting weeds at a different time of year with chemistries that we aren’t going to use in the season, that’s another tool in the toolbox to fight weeds and weed resistance.”  
  2. The increased prevent plant acres need to be effectively managed for 2020 success. In his area of central Illinois, Haegele says he doesn’t have to look hard to see prevent plant fields that need attention and need attention as soon as possible. 

And if a burndown application in 2019 is not possible, Haegele says don’t be discouraged by moving on to Plan B. 
“As we get into March and weather conditions are appropriate, it’s an opportunity to get into those fields with a burndown pass,” he says. 

Two considerations for a burndown tank mix from Haegele: 

  1. Include a product with residual activity
  2. Include a full-rate adjuvant to maximize the efficacy of the herbicide. 

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