Ag Notes: Time to plan your weed strategy

December 01, 2004|JERRY LITTLE

Crop producers pay less attention to combating weed problems during the fall and early winter months. However, this is an optimum time to critically evaluate successes and failures of the past season and make plans for the upcoming growing season.

It is a good time of year to consider what weed control strategies worked and what options did not perform up to expectations during the growing season, and why. Where control practices failed, you may want to consider what weed problems or escapes occurred in the field, if these weed species are annuals or perennials, and whether they are reoccurring problems. Also consider whether weed control practices would have been effective on target weed problems and if environmental conditions before, during or after the treatment had any impact on effectiveness.

Even if control was acceptable, it may be advisable to evaluate costs compared to the benefits, because other more cost-effective options may be available. Evaluating costs is a major consideration as you plan for the next crop season.


Looking at weed control options is an important consideration when evaluating potential changes in crop production practices for the next season. There are many weed control strategies from which to choose for corn and soybeans; carefully consider all input factors for each crop field before selecting a different herbicide program or weed control strategy.

Before making any changes, determine whether they will improve the overall weed control you achieve. Can you lower production costs by switching weed control strategies? Would achieving better weed control reduce yield losses and thus lead to higher profits?

In a few situations, you may still have time to make a late fall application to combat winter annual weeds, depending on the plants you want to control and environmental conditions at the time.

For example, producers of wheat and other small grains may need to scout fields from common chickweed and henbit. Depending on the levels of infestations, it may be advisable to treat fields this fall or make plans to monitor fields in the late winter or early spring.

For more information on weed control options and strategies, contact the Boyle County Cooperative Extension Service.


Three sisters, ages 92, 94 and 96, live in a house together. One night the 96-year-old draws a bath. She puts her foot in and pauses. She yells to the other sisters, "Was I getting in or out of the bath?" The 94-year-old yells back, "I don't know. I'll come up and see." She starts up the stairs and pauses, "Was I going up the stairs or down?" The 92-year old is sitting at the kitchen table having tea listening to her sisters. She shakes her head and says, "I sure hope I never get that forgetful, knock on wood."

She then yells, "I'll come up and help both of you as soon as I see who's at the door."

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