RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — The concept of “time” probably has more sayings and idioms surrounding it than any other — from “all in good time” to “living on borrowed time.”
But don’t let these overused cliches blind you to the importance of planning ahead and taking a timely approach to herbicide applications. A successful growing season — and weed eradication program — begins with a plan focused on season-long control.
Start the season strong
Growers shouldn’t hesitate to invest upfront and set the stage for the rest of the season. Tillage or use of a burndown herbicide application can help prepare and create a clean field before planting. At the same time, a solid pre-emergence herbicide also can give growers an advantage, helping to buy time and possibly extend the application window for subsequent herbicide applications.
Layer your residuals
Weed control isn’t a one-and-done effort. It takes a persistent approach to keep weeds at bay.
With many weeds germinating throughout the growing season, it’s important to look at weed control from a season-long perspective. That includes overlapping or layering residual herbicides. By applying a pre-emergence herbicide, then applying a residual herbicide before it loses its efficacy, the grower greatly reduces how many weeds emerge.
Embrace timely applications
When layering residual herbicides, timely applications are a must to make sure herbicide coverage is maximized. If weeds are “up,” residual herbicides have missed the opportunity to control those weeds.
Weeds are much easier to control when they’re small (three inches or fewer) or, ideally, before they germinate. At this stage, weeds aren’t taking away as many important resources from your crops (water, sun, nutrients) as they can later on. Controlling weeds before they become an issue is the most efficient, cost-effective approach, and can help avoid the need for a rescue treatment.
In addition to better early-season weed control, timely herbicide applications help promote good stewardship and help growers be more proactive in their weed resistance management efforts.
Choose the right product
When it comes to being proactive, that approach also applies to choosing the right product. Growers should understand choosing the right product depends on what weeds need to be managed and in what cropping system. Some other things to consider when looking at the best fit for your field:
- Are you choosing the lowest use rate for maximum profitability?
- Does it allow for faster application?
- Are you considering outside factors in your field that contribute to herbicide performance?
- Are you maximizing your investment by following the label?
When you do find the right product, proper application is also key in reducing weed resistance and stewardship efforts.
Be Prepared for Everything
At the end of the day, because there is no way to know exactly what weather conditions or weed pressures growers will be dealing with, the best thing to do is to be prepared for everything.
Understanding field history and which fields struggled the year prior can help you make decisions regarding weed management. In fields that were weedy at harvest or struggled to keep up with applications (through the growing season), weeds will more than likely be a problem the following year.
Growers can work with their BASF field representative to help develop a plan tailored to their needs that starts strong, layers residuals, and includes timely application and the right product selection, ultimately leading to season-long control — a plan.
For more information, contact your local BASF representative, or visit engeniaherbicide.com.
Engenia herbicide is a U.S. EPA Restricted Use Pesticide. EVERY application of Engenia herbicide requires the use of a pH buffering adjuvant such as AEGOS Buffering Technology. Additional state restrictions may apply. Always read and follow label directions.
Always read and follow label directions.
— Matt Inman, Technical Marketing Manager — Herbicides, BASF Agricultural Solutions