Controlling Costly Weeds in Citrus Groves

February 28, 2018

Close-up of oranges in a citrus grove

Weeds can hinder harvesting and other labor operations in citrus groves. Producers who proactively manage weeds benefit from clean groves and improved resource efficiency. These best practices for using herbicides can simplify the process, allowing growers to focus less on weeds – and more on profits.

Don’t Wait Until it’s Too Late

Take preventive action by using pre-emergent weed control options. Pre-emergent herbicides can serve as an additional mode of action to control herbicide-resistant weeds and avoid future weed resistance.

Effective, long-lasting products such as Alion® herbicide from Crop Science can help growers focus on weeds before they strike, resulting in greater flexibility in post-emergent treatment and a reduction in early season weeds.

Combat Existing Weeds

Once weeds have started to emerge, timing is essential. If a post-emergent herbicide application is late or missed, controlling those weeds becomes significantly more difficult. When combating post-emergent weeds, using the right herbicide — based on its efficacy against the specific weed species — is key.

Follow the Use Rates on the Label

Although some growers might initially find success managing weeds with rates that are lower than those recommended on the label, it is important to follow label rates to avoid the development of resistant weeds. Low dose applications have the potential to allow controllable weed species to escape, leading to resistance.

Fight Resistance

Over time, controllable weed species will develop resistance to herbicides if the right precautions are not taken. Growers can fight weed resistance with a smart, integrated weed management program employing different herbicides with multiple modes of action. Repeated use of the same herbicide mode of action without periodically rotating to a different one can lead to resistance. Make sure to develop an effective chemistry rotation plan to safeguard the long-term efficacy of multiple herbicides. Always use proper rates of herbicides, and control weeds early to optimize control and reduce the chances of escaped weeds.

Be Vigilant

After applying herbicides, growers should look for signs that weeds have been controlled. Weed threats exist throughout the season, so it is vital to monitor groves for potential weed issues that might arise. Scouting after a herbicide application is important because it can facilitate the early identification of weed shifts and/or weed resistance and thus provide direction on future weed management practices.

Before applying any herbicide, please read the entire label for the best possible results and to confirm that the product is effective on the weeds you wish to control.

Learn more about weed management and how a long-lasting, pre-emergent solution like Alion® can help keep citrus groves clean.