Harvest season is upon us, and there is no shortage of work for everyone on the farm. One thing that regularly gets pushed down the priority list, though, is fall weed control.
Like our fertilizer applications, herbicide recommendations follow the 4Rs:
- Use the Right Product
- At the Right Rate,
- Right Time,
- And Right Place.
Often, the Right Time for weed control tends to be in the Fall after harvest, achieving better weed control at the same cost of a Spring application.
8 Benefits of a Fall Herbicide Application:
- Cleaner Fields in the Spring
- Control winter annuals (chickweed, shepherd’s purse)before they get established
- Reliable Weed Control
- Combining fall burndown for late-season emerged weeds with spring residual herbicide provides better control through spring
- Reduce Workload in Early Spring
- Cleaner start means later control necessary in spring
- Warmer Soils for Planting
- Reduce the mat of dead weeds that remains after a spring burndown, especially in no-till
- Faster Crop Growth
- Warmer, drier seedbed means more uniform emergence and better seedling vigour
- Less Insect Pressure
- Less habitat for overwintering insect populations
- Chance for Cover Crop
- Get rid of the weeds you don’t want and plant a cover that will benefit for your operation
3 Application tips for herbicide in fall:
- Apply when air temperatures are above 8°C for 2 hours after application
- After a frost event, wait 2-3 days to evaluate weed growth before resuming application
- Wait 72 hours after application before tillage to give time to get herbicide to roots
“There are plenty of research trials across North America that show if you manage for dandelions, for example, in the fall you’ll get anywhere from 20 to 30 % better control than if you did the same tactic in the spring,” – Mike Cowbrough, weed specialist, OMAFRA.