In a perfect world, winter wheat growers would apply a pre-plant weed control application to tackle winter annual and perennial weeds.

But it doesn’t always work out that way. In this episode of Real Agriculture’s Wheat School, OMAFRA weed management specialist Mike Cowbrough takes a look at weed control options for producers who didn’t have a chance to do it ‘by the book.’

Cowbrough says the pre-plant application window is tough for many producers to hit because as soon as the combine finishes harvesting, the drill is heading for the field. But what happens if you have winter annuals and perennials that need to be controlled? Do you need to control them in the fall or can you wait until spring?

The best way to approach these questions is to get out and thoroughly scout your fields. If fall control is necessary, Cowbrough says growers have to be careful when selecting herbicides for late-season application. “We know from experience that there are herbicides that we shouldn’t be using, specifically 2,4-D.”

In this case, Cowbrough notes that hormone-based herbicides like 2,4-D should be avoided “because when they are applied in the fall … they can distort heads and reduce yield significantly the next year.” Before making product choices, he says growers should consider their options. Once excellent information source to consult is OMAFRA’s PestManager app.

Click here for more Wheat School episodes.

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