Weed competition remains a threat to vulnerable crops, whether they are late-planted, replanted or suffering from poor growing conditions. Carefully consider whether to spray those weeds. If you do need to spray, are you prepared to do the job right?
Most years, weed experts advise against late-season weed control. Weedy pests do most of their damage early in the growing season when emerging crops are less competitive. By now, crops usually are canopied. Weeds that manage to poke through will have little impact on yields.
This year is different — at least in many parts of the country. The same cool, wet conditions that have slowed crop development continue to germinate multiple weed flushes. It’s important to keep a lid on those weeds through crop canopy. These tips can help:
- Weigh the likelihood wet areas will produce a viable crop against the cost of weed control. Remember: A viable crop doesn’t necessarily have to be grain. You could put up corn silage from those waterlogged acres if you can use or sell the feed — and if the crop can survive until fields dry. But be sure to check the product specimen label for pre-harvest intervals.
- If you decide all or part of a field is a loss, a well-timed herbicide application still may make sense. A treatment timed to prevent seed production can pay off in fewer weeds for years to come.
- Timing is critical. The most aggressive weeds can quickly take over. An aerial herbicide application may prove more cost-effective than allowing weeds to flourish for several days while you wait for fields to dry enough to allow spraying with ground equipment.
- Weeds thrive with plenty of moisture and summer heat. They’re likely larger and growing faster than early in the season. Don’t cut herbicide rates.
- Larger, faster growing weeds require complete herbicide coverage for thorough control. Case IH Patriot® series sprayers deliver consistent application quality from boom tip to boom tip. Still, be sure to apply the herbicide in enough water to ensure adequate coverage. And always read and follow product specimen label directions.
Eliminating weed completion is one of the best ways to help your crops rebound from a tough start to the growing season. Work with your agronomist to develop a plan specific for your operation. Your Case IH dealer can help you select the right spray equipment for your field conditions.