As 2022 harvest progresses across the country, many growers will start weighing their options for post-harvest herbicide applications. Falltime herbicide applications can help control pesky winter annuals, biennials, and perennials that pop up in fields after harvest.
What to Consider Before a Fall Herbicide Application:
When making the decision to apply a fall herbicide, first consider your tillage practice, target weeds, and 2023 crop selection. Scout each of your fields after harvest to identify where problem weeds are growing. This will help determine what herbicides you need to apply and in what amounts to ensure full weed control. Consider adding a residual herbicide as an additional barrier against germinating seeds and broadleaf weeds that can germinate over an extended period.
Benefits of a Fall Burndown:
Utilizing a broad-spectrum post-harvest burndown can provide several benefits to a row crop operation. Most importantly, fall applications can more effectively assist in managing weeds, especially winter annuals like marestail or field pennycress, because they target them when they’re small, before they become too difficult to control.
Herbicides such as 2,4-D and Paraquat will be much more effective on winter annuals when they are just starting to pop up in the fall, rather than in the spring when their life cycle is completed. This is incredibly important for growers who practice conservation tillage/no-till and have a history of winter annuals.
Working in a fall burndown can also enable early planting, because a herbicide application after harvest assists in overall soil drying and warming. This will help reduce overwintering insects, pathogens, and diseases, which protects seeds from adverse conditions during planting. For example, removing host weeds such as henbit and purple deadnettle with a fall herbicide application reduces the potential for cyst nematode and other harmful pathogens to overwinter in soybeans.
Important Factors when Making your Application:
Timing: Fall burndown applications are most effective from early October through late November. Applications will remain effective until temperatures fall below freezing. However, weeds will die much slower when temperatures are cool.
Product Selection: When selecting burndown treatments, be sure to reach out to your AgriGold agronomy expert to ensure you’re using a product that allows for complete control of weeds and will work best in your farm management plan. Next year’s crop must be taken into consideration when selecting herbicide active ingredients.
Application Restrictions: Follow all herbicide label suggestions for application type, spray nozzle type, carrier volume, and environmental conditions. Make an attempt to apply the herbicide during a warm, sunny day, as your application will likely be more successful.
If you’re experiencing an abundance of weeds after harvest, reach out to your local AgriGold agronomy expert for help with a fall burndown application that will enhance weed control. And as always, be sure to read and follow all chemical labels before making applications to your fields.