Best Time to Control Dandelions is Post Harvest

Dandelions are unsightly in a lawn, but in a corn or soybean field, they also can be expensive. Dandelions have become an increasing problem since many growers shifted to reduced-tillage or no-till systems.

After the crop has been harvested in the fall, weeds such as dandelions begin to grow as they prepare to overwinter. In the spring, these tough weeds often take over a field, which can slow soil drying and delay planting; cause poor seedbed conditions that can result in stand-establishment problems; require higher rates of burndown herbicides, because weeds are larger and harder to control; and increase the problem for future seasons, because weeds have been allowed to complete their life cycles, replenish their seed banks and develop their root systems.

These fall applications provide: dandelion burndown increases of 20 percent or more compared to traditional treatments; reliable control, even under cool fall temperatures; effective control following almost any crop when applied between harvest and the time the ground freezes; better management of glyphosate applications in soybeans or corn the following season; soils dry out faster, which allows you to plant soybeans or corn as soon as spring weather and field conditions allow.  Just as with home lawns, the best time to control dandelions is not when they show up in the spring but before they can get a foothold in the fall.

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