According to the U.S. Apple Association, close to 100
varieties of apples are grown on 363,000 acres of orchards
throughout the country.1 While the varieties of apples grown
can range from Gala to Granny Smith, and everything in
between, each orchard has at least one thing in common–
weed pressures that can affect fruit quality and crop yield
if left untreated. Marestail, pigweed and ragweed are
common weeds that affect apple growers’ yields across
Treating weed threats before they emerge in an orchard is
vital because they compete with trees for nutrients and they
can harbor harmful diseases and insects.2 Utilizing the best
practices mentioned below can help you ensure a healthy,
high-quality harvest for your apples.
1) Monitor your orchards for weed pressures
Taking a walk through your orchard can provide more
than just a breath of fresh air – it allows you to monitor
for weed growth in all areas of the orchard. Weeds can
thrive in a variety of places in the orchard, depending
on the variance of light, water and even soil type. If you
come across any unknown weeds while surveying your
acres, be sure to take samples for later identification.
2) Be especially vigilant during vital crop
Flowering, fruit set and fruit enlargement are critical
times during crop growth when competition from weeds
for nutrients can lead to undersized fruit and reduced
crop yield.2 Pay special attention to any weed growth
in this period, typically from spring until early July,2 and
take care of the threat immediately.
3) Get ahead of the problem with pre-emergent herbicides
Pre-emergent herbicides enter weed seeds and prevent them
from germinating normally, neutralizing the threat before plants
breach the surface of your orchard. Pre-emergent products,
such as Alion® herbicide from Crop Science, provide
residual control of weeds that can last several months.
4) Use the correct mixture of herbicides
While pre-emergent herbicides are an excellent preventative
method, they do not control weeds that already exist.
Post-emergent herbicides are necessary to combat weeds
that have already broken the soil surface. Using a variety
of herbicides also reduces the risk of weeds developing
resistance. Pre-emergent products like Alion can easily be
tank-mixed with post-emergent sprays for comprehensive
control of weeds that have yet to grow and those
5) Follow the use rates on the label
Use rates vary depending on numerous factors, including soil
type, age of the orchard and amount of irrigation. Low-dose
applications have the potential to allow otherwise controllable
weed species to escape and lead to resistance. Always adhere
to the use rate indicated on the label.
Weed management is an essential part of ensuring the highest
yield and healthiest trees from year to year. Follow the above
Best Management Practices for a comprehensive weed
management program for the entire season.
about weed management and how a long-lasting, pre-emergent
solution like Alion can help you reduce yield loss and improve tree health.