Aug 09, 2019

Tumultuous weather events so far this year make the fall season appear far off in the distance. However, deciding on a fall residual herbicide application plan is approaching faster than most may think. While fall application allows for early weed control, fall residual plans also offer added flexibility to producers and several other additional benefits to consider in timing herbicide applications.

Put Spring at Ease
Many producers and retailers are looking to move at least one of their spring tasks to the fall, and with wet conditions and delayed planting, many herbicide applications were kept out of the field during spring months. With fall application, the spring workload is lessened, and the focus turns to planting and fertilizer necessities rather than preplant residual weed control. Residual herbicides also enable an extended time window of the first post-emergence herbicide treatment on the crop. Early weed control does not have to put unnecessary extra stress on the spring season; fall residuals enable producers to start planting on time. With the heavy potential weed pressure in some fields due to prevent planting, a fall-applied residual herbicide can get a jump start on managing weed pressure next spring before new weeds can emerge.
In addition, fall-applied herbicides themselves allow for flexibility with other crops. Brad Ruden, Agtegra Ag Tech Service Manager, explains the versatility of fall applications. “A fall-applied Valor application can be planted to not only soybeans, but also to corn or wheat, which is important especially if the decision-making next spring dictates the need,” Ruden says.

Free Pesky Nuisances From Soil Early
Mats of weeds not only restrict planters, but they also prevent soils from warming up like they need to. Soil temperature and clean planting ground are two factors in determining rapid emergence, which greatly affects the ability to maximize crop potential. Weeds can also rob crops of available soil nutrients. “Nutrient use by emerged weeds can be significant, especially at a time of growth before the soybean plants are actively fixing their own nitrogen,” Ruden adds. If not controlled with residual herbicide, significant nutrient uptake by weeds can occur, with those nutrients intended for those critical early stages of crop development.

Don’t Doubt the Buddy System
Insect-weed relationships are often forgotten in preparation for next season’s crop. Certain winter annual weeds can serve as hosts for pests. Ruden notes the black cutworm moth as the best example of this interaction: “Fields with winter annual weeds that are flowering in the early spring are attractive sites for black cutworm moths to lay their eggs, leaving their larvae to hatch and feed on the developing corn crop,” Ruden says. “Cutworms and other insects fly into our area each spring and are immediately looking for a green plant to lay eggs on.” Fall residual herbicide application cuts such issues off at the source, leaving fields clean of weeds and pests before the crop is even planted.

Multi-Layered Approach
In addition to fall residual herbicides, fall burndown provides another weed management approach. While fall burndown programs with herbicides are effective and widely used, these programs only target weeds present at the time of application. Fall residual applications strengthen burndown programs by targeting late fall-emerging winter annuals and controlling spring-emerging populations. These residual applications can keep weeds out of the field pre-planting season and maximize efficacy of post-emergence applications.

Contact your Agtegra Agronomist for more information on Fall residual herbicide applications today.

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