Farmers can manage weeds now to protect yields later in the year
By Kaitlynn Anderson
As farmers prepare for planting season, they may want to take some measures to control weeds during this pre-emergence period.
First, growers should review their fields’ histories, Clark Aitken, production manager at Parkland Farms, told Farms.com on Friday.
“Check where you’ve seen weeds in the past,” he said. “Be aware of the weeds that you’ve dealt with previously.”
Before making any spray decisions, farmers should understand the conditions across the field.
“Walk on diagonals and make sure you cover the whole field,” Aitken said.
While scouting their fields, producers may want to keep an eye open for a few specific weeds which are best managed before crop emergence.
“We need to make sure that we look for all of our (herbicide-)resistant weeds, like fleabane and waterhemp,” he said.
Farmers and scouts should be on the look out for other harmful weeds, including spreading atriplex, pigweed, common ragweed and lambsquarters.
Growers may also want to apply a residual for grasses, such as crabgrass, proso millet and bluegrass.
“When you look at your soybean crop at the end of the year, the grasses can have a big impact on yields,” Aitken said.
To maximize the effectiveness of their weed control methods, farmers can also rotate their crops and chemistries, he added.
For more information on weeds, pests and crop diseases, check out the Farms.com Field Guide.
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