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4 Steps to Better Weed Control
Soon you’ll be receiving our mid-March issue featuring the Weed Madness series. It’s chocked full of information about weeds and how to best manage them. Here are a few other reminders to consider as you plan your 2016 weed management strategy.
* Weed control isn’t all about herbicides. Cultural practices also play a key role. One way to squelch weeds is via narrow rows. “The crop canopies earlier,” says John Long, a Mycogen Seeds commercial agronomist. The resulting shade helps stop weeds in their tracks.
* Don’t shave herbicide rates. Early weedy fields may be a symptom of poor weed control due to application of below-label herbicide rates. Farmers may apply a low rate of a preemergence residual herbicide to control an initial weed flush, with the intent of coming back with a later full-rate herbicide application. “If rain prevents a farmer from getting back into the field, that plan falls apart,” says John Foresman, Syngenta herbicide product lead.
* Use a preemergence residual herbicide. “This will help get the crop off to a clean start and provide weed control longer into the season,” says Dave Johnson, DuPont Pioneer senior research scientist. The four-to-six week residual period can also take some of the pressure off the work a postemergence herbicide has to do.
* Use multiple herbicide sites of action. “Always bet on the pest,” says Joel Wipperfurth, Winfield ag technology applications lead. “If you have sameness in the cycle, using the same insecticide, fungicide or herbicide over and over again, Mother Nature will win.”