When crops suffered last summer, many growers stopped spending time and resources on weed control. As a result, more weed seed is sitting out in the fields, waiting to rob crops of early moisture this spring. While burndown and pre-emergent applications can be very effective clearing a field of weeds before planting, growers need to take a different approach when controlling weeds in pastures and crops that overwinter, like alfalfa, wheat and canola.

"To give grasses and winter crops the best chance to recover this spring, growers need to time their spring herbicide applications to hit that first wave of weeds when they are about 3-4 in. tall and follow up with a second application this summer if necessary," Beck advises. "If weeds are allowed enough time to form a canopy, crop recovery will be severely impacted and getting a handle on the weeds will be that much more difficult."