The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


January 5, 2013

Residual herbicide helps keep fields clean

ENID, Okla. — Across northwest Oklahoma, residual herbicides have become the standard recommendation of Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service ag educators and other crop consultants.

Oklahoma State University research has indicated adding a residual herbicide to producer’s herbicide program aids in keeping fields clean longer and free of yield robbing weeds and to improve weed resistance management practices. Simply put, a residual herbicide is a smart and valuable investment for today’s crop producer.

In 2013, producers should base their residual herbicide selection on several areas of performance. Areas that producer should consider include length of residual, application timing, spectrum of weed control, resistance management and crop rotation flexibility.

Length of residual

Some herbicides marketed as “residuals” may have a limited residual control and may become ineffective as the season evolves and tough weed pressure increase.

Residual products will range from a few days of control to several months of control. Most researchers agree four weeks is a realistic amount of control, but six weeks would be better. If you could get four weeks of residual control, the rest of your herbicide program could include a pre-emergence and one post-emerge spray. If you only get two weeks of control from your residual herbicide, you will likely add an additional post-emerge application.

Application timing

Crop rotation, weather trends and even producer preference weigh on the minds of producers with timing their herbicide program. A highly flexible residual herbicide program will allow a producer to apply anytime from post harvest applications to pre-emergence applications.

Recent OSU work has indicated a fall/winter residual herbicide program has worked well on tough to control weeds like marestail and kochia. Other advocates of this practice mention ridding fields of nutrient- and moisture-robbing winter weeds are important.

Others like the thought of having some weed control in place in case spring time weather patterns limit chances of the spring time burndown residual application.

The most popular time to apply a residual herbicide is in the spring, several days or weeks before planting. Most producers use this practice because application timing allows the longest period of residual weed-killing activity through the planting season.

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