Published on Wednesday, September 23, 2020
One of the first steps to a successful herbicide program is starting clean to allow the pre-emerge herbicide to reach the soil surface. The burndown also allows the opportunity to utilize other “effective” SOAs that can’t be used in-season such as Gramoxone® SL 2.0. Spraying early in the spring provides the opportunity to control winter annuals like marestail as well as emerging summer annuals such as giant ragweed. When considering spring burndown options, we must consider if the herbicide has burndown only activity or burndown plus residual activity. Products like Liberty® and Gramoxone SL 2.0 will not have any residual activity but will provide very effective burndown activity. Other burndown products such as Sharpen® or metribuzin will provide residual value depending on the herbicide rate.
With limited windows for field activity in the spring, finding time to spray a burndown may be limited. If planting is delayed after the burndown application, new flushes of weeds can appear. Therefore, starting clean is the most ideal situation to ensure the pre-emerge herbicide reaches the soil surface. If dealing with new flushes of weeds when the pre-emerge application is applied, some pre-emerge herbicides such as Fierce® MTZ and Valor® XLT will have residual and burndown activity. However, when dealing with marestail or other problematic weeds, the addition of a non-selective burndown herbicide can help increase the control of emerged weeds.
In 2020, a study was conducted testing burndown products with or without residual activity. It also looked at pre-emerge herbicides with the addition of a burndown product. Burndown only products such as Gramoxone® SL 2.0 struggled in comparison to other burndown options. However, the addition of metribuzin increased the burndown activity on marestail while also providing residual activity against problematic weeds like waterhemp. Liberty® was also an effective burndown but should be avoided if used in-season. Enlist One® + glyphosate is very effective on marestail rosettes, but control decreased once the plants began to bolt.
Burndown products like Sharpen® provided very effective burndown activity and residual control. Adding Liberty or Sharpen to Enlist One added another “effective” SOA and greatly increased marestail control. For residuals, the addition of nonselective herbicides helped increase burndown control. Burndown products with no residual value controlled emerged weeds but failed to provide future protection. In that scenario, if planting is delayed, new flushes of weeds would emerge. Adding a burndown herbicide to the pre-emerge herbicide would increase the control of emerged weeds.
Author: Joe Bolte
Categories: Agronomy, Agronomy Talk