Prevent Weeds from Going to Seed
Bare ground is an invitation for weed development. From the looks of it, waterhemp and marestail are having quite a party in the Midwest farm fields this season! Large-seeded broadleaf weeds like giant ragweed and cocklebur are showing up, too.
Existing weed vegetation should be controlled with tillage, herbicides, or a combination of tactics. Weed management on prevent-plant acres is challenging for a couple reasons. First of all, many of those fields have weeds growing on them that are now 2 to 3 feet tall. The taller the weeds, the harder it is to manage them.
Some weeds are simply too large to effectively spray at this point, and those weeds that do survive a herbicide application can start developing resistance. Manage herbicide resistance before it becomes a major problem.
You don’t want this season’s weeds to rob next year’s corn or soybean crop of yield. Crops have a better chance of reaching optimal yield when they’re not competing with weeds for sunlight, water, and nutrients.
It’s important to take care of the weeds before they go to seed. As weeds reach maturity, any seeds they leave behind will increase the difficulty of keeping next year’s crop clean. Dead weeds don’t make seeds!