Is One-Pass Weed Control Off the Table?
One-pass systems lean heavily on delivering a level of weed control that satisfies an economic threshold. However, experts are increasingly recommending a shift toward a zero-tolerance approach.
It may be helpful to consider the odds. If a student received a 99% on a test, they’d certainly be happy with that result. But if a farmer kills 99 out of 100 Palmer amaranth weeds, that remaining weed could pump as many as 1 million seeds into the soil seedbank. Even just one survivor can set the stage for massive problems for the next several years.
What does a more integrated management approach look like? Experts recommend 10 best management practices to put farmers in a successful mindset. Those include:
- Rotate crops
- Rotate herbicide-tolerant traits
- Use multiple, effective herbicide modes of action
- Be actively aware of what weed species are present in each field
- Start the season with clean fields
- Use residual herbicides to stay clean
- Apply herbicides correctly, per label instructions
- Control weed escapes
- Adopt a zero-tolerance policy regarding weed seeds in the soil bank
- Clean equipment before traveling from field to field
Eliminating existing weeds is not the only goal; preventing the spread of herbicide-resistant seeds is equally important.
If resistant weeds are already present, consider planning more cultivation or even hand weeding to keep the problem under control.
Keep current on the state of weed resistance with the non-profit research group Weed Science Society of America.
Photo Credit: ©2016 Design Pics / Bill Barksdale