The Upside of Fall Weed Control

The 2019 growing season offered some of the toughest conditions that we’ve seen in quite a while. After your crops are harvested and equipment winterized, you’ll turn toward planning next year’s crop. You may have considered what crop to plant, what to fertilize with, and maybe even which herbicides to use. This excellent foresight is what makes you a great farmer. However, before we can pursue next year, this year still needs to be put to rest. The reality of missed burndown windows this past season merits more consideration, including greater and more flexible control options that surpass the traditional residuals of your planned spring or summer herbicide programs. As you read this, Palmer amaranth, tall waterhemp, marestail and other troublesome weeds are germinating and rapidly growing in your recently harvested fields. Action should be taken now to stop these weeds.

Typical Weeds in the Fall

That’s right, weeds in the fall. Winter annual weeds like Marestail typically germinate in the fall, flower in early spring, produce seed by late-spring and then die by mid-summer. Winter annual weeds can interfere with crop seedling germination in the spring, as well as host nematodes and insects. No problem, we can just burn these weeds down in the spring, right? Well, yes, but by then spring winter weeds are flowering, making them less likely to uptake herbicides. This can lead to very difficult-to-control weeds, which often produces escapes – something that we really don’t want (especially right before planting).

Summer Annuals in the Fall

It appears the Amaranthus species are gifts that keep on giving, even in the fall. We may see some green regrowth in our fields after harvest, but the freeze will take care of those weeds, right? Surely those summer annual weeds can’t produce seed in one month? Unfortunately, they can. In certain areas of the US, Palmer amaranth germinating as late as October still has the potential to produce nearly 80,000 seeds. Though this is a far cry from the 250,000 to 500,000 seeds that Palmer amaranth may produce in the normal May or June emergence, it is still 80,000 seeds that don’t need to be in your field to take care of next year.

Nufarm is Here to Help

At Nufarm we understand the ongoing battle against troublesome weeds and we’re here to help. Our portfolio consists of multiple herbicides that can assist growers in fall weed control. Download our Fall Weed Control Fact Sheet now for program recommendations that put you in the best position this planting season.