I get asked all of the time whether a grower should do a preseed burn off and my answer is always, “when do you want to spend your money? Up front or at spraying time.” I do get a lot of weird looks when I say that reply but it is true. I have walked too many fields that have flix weed bolting and eighteen whorl cleavers at the post emergent spray time all because the grower said there was nothing growing in the field and decided not to spray. With the preseed products that are now out there we can manage our chemical bill even closer. Many growers and myself included have seen where a good preseed burn off gave them a cheaper post emergent bill where they just had to use MCPA Ester at ten ounces or 2,4-D LV700 at six ounces to cover off the weed spectrum. Now is that every time? No, but everyone is asking me how to save some money this year and this may be one way to try for it. For those of you that have the great pleasure of working with cleavers just make sure to use a product that will give you some extra punch this spring. Glyphosate along is a very poor option when it comes to cleavers and I have pulled my hair out trying to kill these multi stem winter annuals that look like they came out of a horror movie. We do have some good post emergent chemicals for cleavers but it is still easier to kill a five whorl cleaver than a eighteen or twenty whorled one.
We have some great preseed products out there so lets take advantage of them. Talk to your retail and ask what products work the best for your situation.
Just remember, your shadow is the most important thing you can put on your fields this spring because a sixty mile per hour drive by could cost you more than you think.
Those are my thoughts,
Garth Donald C.C.A