Ohio State (OSU) and Purdue University weed specialists encourage growers to watch for weeds when temperatures soon turn warmer and unwanted plants begin competing with wheat. They say effective weed control and prevention of weed seed production in prior crops will reduce the risk of wheat weed problems.

In the OSU and Purdue 2010 Ohio and Indiana Weed Control Guide, the weed scientists say “some wheat fields can benefit greatly from herbicide application – and failure to scout fields and take appropriate measure can result in yield loss and harvesting problems. Leaves that appear above the wheat canopy, such as ragweed, Canadian thistle and others, are easily controlled with a spring herbicide treatment.”

Winter annuals are among weeds that can thwart wheat growth in the Midwest and other production regions. They include common chickweed, purple deadnettle, field pennycress and many others.

“These weeds become established in the fall along with the wheat and can interfere with the early development of wheat in the spring,” the weed guide specialists say. “Dense populations of winter annuals should be controlled (if not in late fall) in early spring to minimize interference with wheat growth.”

For more on the weed guide, go to http://www.btny.purdue.edu/Pubs/WS/WS-16/WS-16.pdf.