Wet Spring Spawns Heavy Weed Pressure
While most of the 2013 crop is still in the bag, this wet spring has given weeds a head start in many fields. While planting may be a farmer’s top priority, controlling weeds needs to be job #1. Gary Welker, Indiana based BASF technical services manager, says, “When the opportunity presents itself and these fields dry out, we need to begin to control these weeds.” He told HAT with plenty of moisture and several weeks of warmer weather, weeds are taking off. He is especially concerned about marestail, “Because most of the state has all glyphosate resistant marestail or a mix of mostly glyphosate resistant marestail.”
Welker recommends getting the sprayer into the field before you take the planter in, “Once you have a crop in and up, it takes away several tools you can use to control glyphosate resistant marestail.” He said there are many situations where you can get the sprayer into the field before the planter and not cause any soil compaction. But he warns to watch what you are using to control those weeds. You want to use a chemistry that will allow you to plant right after and not wait. Welker said BASF has a family of products that would allow a grower to spray weeds in the morning and plant in the afternoon.
He recommends the earlier you start your weed control program, the better, “I advise growers to take care of weeks while they are small, under 4 inches then they really don’t have a chance to compete with the crop.” Welker also suggests that fungicides may be critical this year as the wet spring may produce a higher level of disease than last year.