Soil-applied herbicides can knock out a farmer's toughest weeds, but the chemical products are no match against soggy fields, says Bill Johnson, Purdue University Extension weed specialist.

A wet early spring has made it difficult for crop producers to use soil-applied, or residual, herbicides to their fields ahead of planting, says Johnson. Producers should not push the envelope on herbicide treatments while fields are holding too much water, he adds.

“If it's dry enough to plant, it's dry enough to spray,” says Johnson. “We don't plant our crops when soil conditions are such that we're dropping the seed into mud, so we don't want to apply our herbicides onto muddy ground either.

“We run into challenges when we apply to fields that are too wet,” continues Johnson. “One, we're going to leave ruts in the field. Two, all herbicides are labeled such that they cannot be applied to standing water anyway. If we want to get the most out of our soil-applied herbicides, we need to put them on in conditions similar to those in which we would plant the crops.”

For more informtion, go online to Weed Science Web.