Clean Fields for 2020 Start in 2019

Oct 28, 2019

Winter annuals emerge in the fall and, if left uncontrolled, overwinter and begin rapid growth in the early spring. It is crucial to take winter annuals down while they are still small in the fall months. A fall burndown application provides more consistent control of these pests since they are nipped when weed size is minimal. This results in less weed biomass in the spring during planting season.
Excessive rainfall this fall has helped to create ideal conditions for winter annuals to thrive. If winter annual weed infestations are more prevalent than normal, weed control could be difficult come spring time, especially with wet spring conditions.
Herbicide resistant Marestail.
In Nebraska, Marestail is the toughest to control winter annual. More than 2 million acres in the state are infested with herbicide resistant Marestail. Most of the Marestail in the state is glyphosate and ALS resistant.
Scouting is critical. The majority of Marestail in Nebraska emerges in the fall. If you see a lot of Marestail, a fall herbicide application is warranted. This tough-to-control weed is most effectively managed in the fall while its in the seedling stage.
Tank-mix a residual product.
You can’t rely on products with no residual activity. Adding a residual chemistry to your fall burndown tank-mix will improve control of Marestail and other tough winter annuals. Residual activity needs to be present after the initial burndown application to manage weeds that emerge later in the fall.
No-till? No question.
No-till fields are a priority for fall burndown applications. Overwintered Marestail can be extremely difficult to control in the spring. Start with clean fields to achieve maximum yield potential.
Minimize pest havens.
Eliminating weeds in the fall gives insects fewer places to hide and thrive. Certain winter annuals have been identified as alternate hosts to soybean cyst nematode (SCN):
  • Henbit
  • Field pennycress
  • Shepherd’s-purse
  • Common chickweed
If you aren’t making a fall burndown application, make sure that you have the right seed traits to handle potential pests.
Conditions favoring the need for a fall burndown application:
  • No-till fields
  • History of high winter annual weed pressure
  • High weed densities at harvest
  • Prevalence of resistant weeds that limit herbicide options in spring
  • Factors that prevent timely applications in the spring while weeds are small (poorly drained fields, sprayer availability, etc.)
Scout fields to determine where fall burndown applications are necessary.
Get an early start to season-long weed control.
Effective fall burndown applications control winter annuals while they are still in their seedling stage. Being proactive in your weed management plan can save your operation in many ways:
  1. Start with clean fields in the spring
  2. Better seedbed preparation and timely planting
  3. Fewer insect habitats
  4. Fewer large weed escapes = more options, lower overall herbicide costs, and better in-season weed control
  5. Eliminate winter annual weeds that are potential SCN hosts
Fall burndown applications are a key tool in our toolbox to control resistant and prolific weeds. It pays to be proactive and consistent to achieve season-long weed control. Talk to your local CPI Agronomist for specific options and recommendations for your fields.

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