Five Factors to Consider When Dealing with Early Season Weeds

July 30, 2022

Even early in the season, weeds can impact the growth of crops.

Early weed management is growing both more complicated and more imperative to protecting your yield potential. Some weeds can produce hundreds of thousands of seeds per plant, making effective, early control even more important to manage populations.

The effects weeds can have on yield are due largely to their competition with plants when it comes to these five factors.

1. Light

Weeds that compete for sunlight can impact the growth of the plant.

2. Moisture

Weeds compete with nearby crops for water, which can impact crop development and yield potential.

3. Nutrients

Weeds also consume and tie-up nutrients, limiting their availability to benefit crops. For example, in coarse-textured soils and soils with low fertility, nitrogen is often a target.

4. Space

Some weed species can also cause yield loss due to allelopathy, the suppression of plant growth due to the release of natural, plant-derived substances.

5. Environment

While not related to weeds specifically, environmental factors affect weed emergence and growth, herbicide effectiveness, the competition between weed and crop, and the crop’s recovery from that competition. Pay attention to soil and air temperature, soil moisture, and rainfall at all stages of growth.


The Roundup Ready® Xtend Crop System offers recommendations offers recommendations for dealing with weeds when farming soybeans and cotton.

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