When harvest concludes, the work isn’t done, especially when it comes to your weed-control program. The United Soybean Board consulted with Richard Zollinger, Extension weed scientist with North Dakota State University, for some sound management advice. Zollinger offered four ways farmers can stay ahead of yield-robbing weeds before winter weather sets in.
- Map and scout your fields. With bare fields, it’s easy to locate weedy hot-spots. “This is a perfect time to scout and map your fields so you know where the problem spots lie come spring,” he says.
- Make a herbicide application. Removing weeds that have appeared after crop removal will minimize the number of weeds growing in the spring.
- Plant a cover crop. “Cover crops can be a very useful tool if you are looking for a non-chemical alternative to manage weeds,” Zollinger says.
- Consider fall tillage. Tillage can kill weeds and prevent seed production. It’s another method to reduce the number of weeds that emerge next spring and allows for a more effective weed-control program for 2015.
USB also caught up with Bob Hartzler, Extension weed specialist with Iowa State University, who says winter weeds such as marestail and henbit are able to remain dormant all winter and spring back to life just before planting. If winter annuals aren’t controlled, they can make for a miserable spring, he says.
“Fields that have heavy infestations of winter annuals in the fall are the ones where weeds could cause problems at planting,” he says.
Hartzler offers up 10 examples of weeds that can survive the winter that farmers may want to watch for:
- Annual bluegrass
- Cress leaf groundsel
- Field pennycress
- Italian ryegrass
- Shepherd’s purse
- Purple deadnettle
Visit www.TakeActionOnWeeds.com for additional weed-management tips.