Rob-Benyshek-webMid December through January is the ideal time to apply pre-emergent or dormancy herbicides for mustard control in alfalfa.

Applications of DuPont™ Velpar® or Velpar® AlfaMax™ Herbicide will provide control of winter annual weeds like Tansy mustards and Shepardspurse.

These products provide contact and residual control. Both Velpar® and Velpar® AlfaMax™ should only be applied to established alfalfa stands during the dormancy period.

Early applications of these herbicides will assure enough time for adequate moisture and herbicide uptake to aid in control of winter annual weeds.

BASF herbicides Raptor® and Pursuit® are two other herbicides registered for post-emergent winter annual weed control in alfalfa. Applications are usually applied in late February through March. Both products are labeled for fall and spring seeded alfalfa, as well as established stands.

Raptor can also assist in the control of volunteer wheat and brome species.

Controlling mustards can improve both quality and yield, as well as increase the life of alfalfa stands.  The residual control characteristics of these products can last into the spring, and improve control of early germinating spring and summer weeds.  This allows a little more timing flexibility before the summer residual herbicide is applied.

An alfalfa crop is a big investment, and proper weed management is an important step to maximizing yield and stand life.  Your Crop Quest Agronomist will assist you in making the best choice to control the winter annual weeds in your fields.

Written by: Rob Benyshek, Ulysses, KS
Feature photo: Wild Mustard, L.L. Berry, Bugwood