Producers who anticipate a successful row crop and are only waiting on precipitation to spray for weeds might do better to act now, a South Dakota State University specialist said.

That assumes that the current crop potential warrants the additional expense.

SDSU Extension Weed Specialist Leon Wrage said a wait-and-see approach only allows weeds to grow bigger while forcing the crop to endure more days of competition from weeds.

Instead producers should resign themselves to the fact that control is going to be slower and perhaps reduced under the dry conditions that persist in many areas.

"Even some level of control is critical when moisture is an even more critical factor," Wrage said. "Don't give up on those flushes of weeds coming through in corn and soybeans, particularly."

Wrage offered some additional tips for producers fighting weeds under dry conditions:

  • Keep herbicide rates toward the maximum levels.
  • Select a herbicide for the primary weed, and choose one that is considered highly effective.
  • Give special attention to additives and use the full amount allowed on the label.

"Additives become an important consideration because that can help in the retention and uptake of the herbicide in leaf tissue that may have a thicker cuticle, may be more waxy, or a plant that simply has leaves that are somewhat drought-stressed and have reduced herbicide uptake," Wrage said. "Using the full amount of the specific additive will ensure the maximum level of uptake and control that can be expected."

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