Spring Planting Prep

Apr 15, 2021

Spring Planting Prep
Although we seem to be bouncing between warm and cold weather, spring is finally starting to stick around. With warm temperatures and damp conditions, weeds are really starting to take off growing. You may have noticed purple fields of henbit and yellow fields of mustard. While these may look pretty from afar, they are also stealing moisture and valuable nutrients from the soil and from your upcoming crop.

Now is a key time to get out and scout open ground for weeds, including winter annuals, grasses, and early summer annuals. Spraying while winter annuals are small is key to good control. For example, marestail or horseweed is significantly more difficult to control after it has “bolted” or begins to grow upward from the center of the rosette. Costly weed control options ultimately cut into your bottom line, even if you aren't currently associating that field with a crop.

Applying a residual product with these burndown applications is highly recommended. Residual products can help prevent new flushes of weeds from germinating and emerging. Many weeds are much easier to prevent than to control after emergence. Preventing further flushes of weeds helps protect your fertilizer investment as well as avoid moisture loss to those pesky invaders. 

Reasons to burndown present weeds and apply a residual:
  1. Weeds are easier to control when small (and before bolting in marestail) meaning a less expensive burndown cost
  2. Clean up seedbed for planting of spring crops
  3. Some crops, such as corn, can change leaf orientation if weeds are present in the row, causing a season long effect on the amount of sunlight the plant can intercept
  4. Prevent green-bridge for disease and insects to carry over to spring crops
  5. Multiple modes of action on the field to help with resistance management
One watch out when applying residual products is to know what your crop plan is for the field. Some residual products for corn my prevent the planting of soybeans and vice versa. Also, some cover crops may be susceptible to residual herbicides, so check your label closely and/or reach out to your Great Bend Co-op Salesperson for more information. 

Great Bend Co-op would like to wish everyone a productive and safe planting season! 

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