Warm Soil Temperatures Lead to Early Emergence of Annual Weeds
Winter annual weeds may be larger this year compared with recent years

Friday, April, 8, 2016 9:00 AM EST

INDIANAPOLIS — Warm soil temperatures and minimal moisture are creating the perfect storm for heightened weed pressure this spring. As a result, annual weeds are likely to emerge earlier than the past few years because soil temperatures are already warming up, says Kent Bennis, market development specialist, Dow AgroSciences.

“Lambsquarters is germinating in some fields and will come up quickly with giant ragweed soon to follow,” Bennis says. “Growers should continue to be vigilant and have a management plan in place to stay ahead of early germinating weeds.”

The threat of winter annual weeds is much larger this year compared with the last few years, Bennis says. The probability of both increased weed pressure and larger weeds earlier in the season increases the need for a strong burndown herbicide program and a preemergence herbicide application, Bennis says. Left uncontrolled, species such as marestail, chickweed and waterhemp can compete with soybean crops for vital nutrients and moisture during early germination. 

“If growers incorporate preemergence herbicides, such as Sonic or Surveil, it is recommended to run the tillage equipment a maximum of 4 inches deep to keep the herbicide in the top inch or two of soil,” Bennis says.

There are several advantages to managing early season weeds this spring — including the opportunity to plant into a cleaner seedbed, which can result in timelier planting under dry weather conditions, Bennis says.

Weather permitting, corn and soybean grower Jay Wilburn of Laddonia, Missouri, plans to plant soybeans toward the end of April. Even with untimely spring rain in 2015 that delayed soybean planting, Wilburn was able to keep his fields free of weeds due to the performance of his preemergence herbicide program.

“We have been using pre’s for the past four to five years,” Wilburn says. “When glyphosate quit working, we had to find a different way to control weeds. Pre’s were the answer for our area.”

Last year, due to the wet weather, Wilburn had 300 acres slated for soybeans that were treated with Sonic® preemergence herbicide, but not planted. He says Sonic controlled weeds late into June.

“We’ve been putting Sonic down as a pre and using the full rate,” Wilburn says. “We put it down and it kept the ground bare for about a month and a half, even with nothing planted on it.”

Although Wilburn implemented a preemergence herbicide program and applied Sonic last year, not all growers were able to apply a herbicide due to rain delays. Soybean acres that did not receive a preemergence herbicide application to control weeds last season may have increased weed pressure this growing season.

Since soil temperatures have also warmed quickly this spring, weeds are likely to emerge early. For optimized weed control, scout for winter weed species such as chickweed and marestail, and early germinating annual weeds, such as lambsquarters and waterhemp. Follow up with a preemergence herbicide to control them early so they do not become a larger issue later in the season.

“There’s a good amount of resistant waterhemp across Iowa,” Bennis says. “The best way to manage waterhemp and other yield-robbing weeds is to use soil-applied herbicides before the weed is out of the ground.”

When it comes to early season weeds, Wilburn says, if there are weeds in the field, yield potential is being robbed.

“If you don’t control them early, especially waterhemp, it's almost impossible to control them at all,” Wilburn says. “You need to control weeds to have a successful crop.”

For more information about controlling waterhemp, lambsquarters and other early-germinating annual weeds this spring, visit BattleWeeds.com or contact your Dow AgroSciences sales representative.

About Dow AgroSciences
Dow AgroSciences discovers, develops, and brings to market crop protection and plant biotechnology solutions for the growing world. Based in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, Dow AgroSciences is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company and had annual global sales of $6.4 billion in 2015. Learn more at www.dowagro.com. Follow Dow AgroSciences on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Google+, or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.

 


Heightened weed pressure this spring increases the need for a residual preemergence herbicide, such as Sonic® or Surveil® herbicide.

About Dow AgroSciences
Dow AgroSciences discovers, develops, and brings to market crop protection and plant biotechnology solutions for the growing world. Based in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, Dow AgroSciences is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company and had annual global sales of $6.4 billion in 2015. Learn more at www.dowagro.com. Follow Dow AgroSciences on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Google+, or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.

Contact: 
Sarah Woodhurst
Bader Rutter
414-739-4616
swoodhurst@bader-rutter.com

Lindsey Hecht
Dow AgroSciences LLC
317-337-5340
lmhecht@dow.com

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®DOW Diamond, Sonic and Surveil are trademarks of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow. Sonic and Surveil are not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Always read and follow label directions.