Sprayer skip highlights value of early-season weed control
KANSAS: At first glance, sprayer skips are just an unfortunate mishap, but they can provide insights into the value of early-season weed control.
Early-season waterhemp pressure resulting from a sprayer skip (left) vs. a pre-emergence application of Acuron® corn herbicide at 2.5 qt/A in a Sedgwick, Kansas field (right). Photos taken 27 days after application.
The performance of a corn hybrid is heavily determined by when weeds are eliminated. Any weed that is present in the field when corn emerges has the potential to cause significant and permanent yield damage. Weeds exceeding two inches in height compete with the corn plant for essential resources (water, nutrients and sunlight). Therefore, early-season weed control with an effective pre-emergence herbicide is a vital part of yield protection.
It’s more cost effective to prevent weeds from ever coming up than it is to fight them post emergence. Trying to control weeds after the fact forces growers to spend more money. It also places the corn in a situation where it has to metabolize additional herbicides when it’s trying to produce ears of corn. Using a pre-emergence herbicide such as Acuron can help with early-season control of waterhemp, morningglory and cocklebur.
Cleaner fields reduce the chance of weed seeds being deposited into the weed seed bank, improve efficiency and leave time for other tasks.
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