Fall Weed Control Gaining Traction

Growers attending 2013 Farm Progress Show say they are adopting new strategies like fall weed control to manage resistant weeds and get a head start on 2014 planting season.

DECATUR, Ill., Sept. 18, 2013
– More crop producers are adjusting their weed control programs to include herbicide applications after harvest, according to a survey of 2013 Farm Progress Show attendees. More than 70 percent said they are now planning or are seriously considering using fall weed control this year. The survey, sponsored by DuPont Crop Protection, included 230 corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum growers during the late August national farm show.

Nearly 73 percent of growers surveyed said they or farm employees handle all or some of the herbicide application on their farms. The rest said they rely on custom applicators to do the job.

Less Competition, Timely Planting

The number-one reason given for fall herbicide use was reduced weed competition for crops in the spring. However, several other factors also ranked as key reasons for fall weed control, including faster soil warm-up in the spring, managing spring field work to get planters in the field sooner, and reducing diseases and insect pests that can overwinter in winter annual weeds.

“Cool, wet conditions earlier this spring had many growers thinking about how to maximize their time in the field when the planting window was limited by poor weather conditions,” said Mike Meyer, DuPont field development manager. “Even where planting was timely, growers recognized that fall herbicide applications can be an effective tool for controlling winter annual weeds, resulting in warmer, drier seedbeds and improved seed-to-soil contact.

Planting into a high-quality seedbed can have a significant positive impact on stand establishment and, ultimately, yield,” he added.

According to the survey results, herbicide applications that provide fall burndown and long-lasting residual weed control are gaining favor with growers. “One thing that stood out in the survey as a place we can do better is informing growers about winter annual weed control,” added Meyer. “Growers are asking for help in choosing the right fall-applied residual herbicides for their planned crop rotations, while addressing specific weed problems.”

Strategic Tank-Mixing Helps Address Problem Weeds

For growers interested in fall-applied herbicides, Meyer provided two herbicide recommendations. After corn harvest and for acres going into soybeans next spring, Meyer suggested applying DuPont Canopy® EX herbicide tank-mixed with 2,4-D and Abundit® Edge (glyphosate) herbicide for control of many winter annual and perennial weeds, including glyphosate-resistant marestail. For acres coming out of soybeans and destined for corn planting in 2014, an application of DuPont Basis® Blend herbicide tank-mixed with 2,4-D and Abundit® Extra provides residual control of winter annuals and a cleaner start for growers the following spring, he said.

“Controlling winter annual weeds with fall-applied herbicides allows the soil to warm and dry sooner than in untreated fields that contain mats of winter annual weeds, which can leave soil cold and wet long after spring thaw,” said Meyer. “One of the biggest benefits we hear from growers is that a post-harvest herbicide application paves the way for an earlier, more predictable start to the planting season.”

For more information regarding the best strategies for fall herbicide applications, growers can contact their local DuPont Crop Protection representative or retailer.

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