As crops, and of course weeds begin to emerge this spring, many producers may not be aware of the process their Crop Quest Agronomist uses to select appropriate herbicides for control of these weeds.
There are a multitude of questions that need to be answered before a particular herbicide and timing of application can be determined. Obviously, the species of weeds present are usually the first thing considered. But also the presence of resistant weeds in the field or other fields in the immediate area is critical. Many agronomists will recommend a proactive approach by selecting herbicides of different modes of action to help delay development of resistance. Another approach to properly managing resistant weeds is to recommend treatment at levels normally considered below economic threshold to ensure the resistant weed does not become well established.
Just as important are the crop growth stage restrictions for each herbicide. Most products have a minimum as well as maximum crop size that must be observed to avoid injury to the plant. An experienced agronomist will recognize situations where timely application may be difficult and select products that have a wider application window, or encourage the producer to begin application at the earliest possible growth stage.
Some herbicides can interact adversely with either soil or foliar applied insecticides and cause significant crop injury. If an insecticide has or will be applied, then the selection of a different herbicide will need to be made.
During winter training sessions, your Crop Quest Agronomist learns about new herbicides that have recently received label clearance. When it appears as if these new products have promise for use on difficult to control weeds, your agronomist may recommend limited applications so as to observe the results under more widespread conditions than they were initially tested under.
All of the above decisions for herbicide selection are made easier because of the network of agronomists in Crop Quest. The many years of experience as well as people from diverse geographical locations aid to make the best possible recommendation for the producer.
Written by: Stan Schield; Montezuma, KS
Featured Image by: Phil Roeder, Flickr.com