Taking the time to evaluate the effectiveness of your weed management program at the end of the season can help to enhance future weed control, protect yield potential, and improve your profitability. With the development of herbicide-resistant weeds, growers need to continually assess weed control in their fields and make necessary changes to weed management programs.
Fall and winter are the perfect times to evaluate weed management programs in corn. During harvest, note the fields with significant weed escapes. After harvest, growers can overlay their observations with yield monitor results and imagery to further assess how their weed control worked, identify problem areas, and begin to develop next year’s weed management program.
What is the history of the field?
Current and past weed pressure
Weed species (past and present)
Any specific resistance issues
What is the weed pressure in the local area and region?
Consider the weed pressure in surrounding fields and in the local area
How did weather affect the weed control program?
Rainfall and temperature during the growing season
Other environmental conditions that effect herbicide performance (Pre and Post)
What soil conditions or other field characteristics may have affected performance?
How long or well did the residual herbicide provide weed control
Variations in weed control across the field
What was the size of weeds when herbicide applications were made?
How did any weed escapes affect the season-long plan through harvest?
Types of weed escapes
Effect on harvest and yield
Contribution to the weed seed bank
What is the economic approach of your operation?
Consider yield goals and type of crop planted
Consider market conditions and other crop management decision
The Climate Corporation’s digital ag platform provides high-resolution aerial imagery data and field-level insights to flow into a grower’s FieldView account at their request to assist in mitigating risks of crop yield loss due to weeds as well as other crop pests and fertility issues. While scouting for weeds during harvest, use the app to drop geo-referenced pins. Imagery is provided for any field that is mapped so growers do not need to request imagery. Imagery can help you see variability across your fields. Use imagery to identify potential trouble spots and target where to scout. An effective scouting program is essential to monitor weed populations throughout the growing season. Dark-green colors in your imagery can indicate possible weed pressure where you should consider scouting. You know your field better than anyone, so check the more extreme spots with your own eyes. Is the problem due to weed pressure? Compare this year’s imagery to previous years using Split View to identify differences or trends.
It is important to utilize a diversified weed management strategy. This includes the timely use of herbicides and cultural practices, such as cultivation, to maintain effective weed control throughout the growing season. Proactive weed management is the timely use of herbicides and cultural practices to control weeds and minimize the risk of herbicide-resistant weed development. A long-term weed management program should focus on controlling the weed seed bank. Scouting is an important part of developing an effective weed management plan. Continued evaluation of your preemergence and postemergence herbicide program is important to stay ahead of weeds developing into problems in your fields. If not properly managed, a small isolated herbicide-resistant weed patch can soon spread across an entire field and potentially into neighboring fields. Consult with others (Extension, neighboring growers, dealers) and with your Bayer Representative for help with developing an effective weed management plan for your farm.