Weeds Cost, But Proper Management Pays

Herbicide resistance in weeds is spreading rapidly, costing farmers both time and money. What once was a problem in the south is now moving to all soybean-producing regions of the United States.

According to North Dakota State University weed control professor Richard Zollinger, Ph.D., farmers can avoid the lost yield weeds cause by adopting a weed-management plan.

A weed-management plan can help farmers strategize and prepare better for this problem. Zollinger offers farmers the following five suggestions to implement a plan:

  1. Use multiple herbicide modes-of-action.
  2. Use foundation residual soil-applied herbicide treatments.
  3. Scout fields for individual or small patches of new herbicide-resistant weeds.
  4. Scout field borders and bare soil in fields where herbicide weed infestations can begin.
  5. Kill all herbicide-resistant plants before they go to seed because dead weeds cannot produce seed.

“Some farmers may not want to make certain changes because of the costs associated,” Zollinger says. “However, if farmers look at the long run, planning for weed management will give them better weed control, better land values, make them better land stewards and allow for greater profitability because there will be fewer weeds competing with the crop.” For additional help developing a weed-management plan specific to your farm, contact your local extension agent or crop advisor to discuss recommendations.

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