Fall-Applied Herbicides: Plant Next Spring with a Clean Slate

Summary:
  • 5 considerations before using fall applied herbicides.
  • Fall-applied herbicides help send crop pests packing.
  • Get cleaner fields in the spring by applying fall herbicides.

Fall-Applied Herbicides: Plant Next Spring with a Clean Slate

If only Mother Nature would cooperate a little, then you could get that planter rolling.

It seems there’s never enough time in the spring to get it all done. The soil never seems to be “just right” for planting. That extra green mat keeps the soil from warming up soon enough. There are those weeds that just won’t die, even when sprayed. And, what about those crop pests you thought you were rid of last season?

Herbicide applications in the fall as part of a weed management plan are just the ticket to help you get in the field sooner next spring. And, they’re a sure-fire way to take control of winter annual weeds and unwanted crop pests like the black cutworm and soybean cyst nematode.

According to information from Purdue University Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, some questions you should consider before using fall-applied herbicides include:

  • Have winter annual weeds caused your soils to warm or dry slower in the spring? Winter annual weeds usually emerge in the fall after harvest and continue growing until spring. This is usually the same time that soils need to dry and warm up for planting.
  • Does your burndown program before planting fail to control the winter annuals? Applying herbicides in the fall when air temperatures are still warm, when weeds are actively growing, and when good spray coverage can be achieved can increase herbicide performance and the effectiveness of a burndown herbicide program. In wheat, fall herbicide application should be considered to control present seedlings and reduce dandelion infestations.
  • Do winter annual weeds increase the likelihood of insect pests in next year’s crop? They just might. Many pests are more likely to overwinter or be a problem earlier the next season due to the presence of winter annual weeds.
  • Are winter annual weeds providing effective suppression of more troublesome, early-emerging summer annual weeds? Burndown of a solid stand of low-lying winter annuals prior to no-till planting may result in an effective “weed control mat” during the winter and for the first few weeks of the growing season.
  • Will fall-applied herbicides lock you into a single cropping system the following spring? Before spraying a residual product in the fall, be committed to planting the labeled crop regardless of fluctuations in the commodity markets.

Fall weed control is the most important decision you have to make when it comes to weed management, and North Dakota State University Extension Weed Specialist Rich Zollinger says fields that receive a fall herbicide application will always be cleaner than those fields that don’t.

Why take a chance on next year’s crop? As you ride that combine this fall, that is the time to plan for next year. Consider Autumn Super™ herbicide as part of your weed management plan. Spread out your workload, start spring planting with a clean seedbed, save nutrients for your growing crop, send crop pests packing, and stop winter annual weeds before they ever get started. Use Autumn Super on those glyphosate resistant weeds, too, in fields that will be planted to either corn or soybeans.

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