It’s fall in Ontario. The leaves are turning colour. The days are getting cooler and shorter. And crops are coming off. That means it’s a great time to go out and take a walk…through your fields.
Harvest is such a busy time. But if you take some time to walk through your fields now, you might save some time on weed control when the busy spring season rolls around. According to Mike Cowbrough, weed management lead with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs “many farmers have witnessed the value of applying herbicides in the fall to control perennial weeds, especially sow thistle and dandelion.”
When weather conditions permit, controlling key weeds in the fall decreases pressure in the spring, and gives you a jump on the weeds before they grow to a size that is much harder to control.
“Individual weed species can have multiple and different growth habits within their population,” says James Ferrier, Technical Services Manager for Eastern Canada with Nufarm Agriculture. Inc. “Perennial weeds like dandelion and sow thistle have multiple germination timings, or flushes, in each season and are best controlled with a fall application of BlackHawk® tank mixed with glyphosate before they have a chance to take hold. The same holds true with winter annual weeds.
“Controlling winter annuals in the fall is an important part of a good herbicide resistance management plan,” says Ferrier. “If you wait until the spring and try to control winter annual weeds with a pre-seed burndown, your efficacy is generally lower as the plants are larger, have established root systems, and are switching to reproductive growth.”
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