CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — In the midst of corn and soybean country, the popularity of wheat has increased in part because of its higher-than-normal price. But along with that new wheat crop is an additional consideration of weed control.

With the combine back in the shed following the wheat harvest, University of Illinois weed specialist Aaron Hager said the sprayer needs to come out.

“With the wheat harvest, we actually enter into one of two seasons: there’s the double crop soybean season or the weed growth season,” Hager said. “And most people who go into double crop soybean are going to have a weed control program in mind. But we just wanted to take a moment to remind folks that if we allow these wheat stubble fields be overgrown in weeds and allow the weeds to go to seed, that’s going to be weeds we have to contend with and deal with for years into the future.”

“Any wheat stubble field that has a weed population in it, and most all of them do, we would encourage folks to try to get them under control one way or another before they flower and make any seed,” Hager continued. “You can do that by mowing the field, you can work it up with tillage equipment or you could spray it with a herbicide. But again, the key point is: don’t allow these mostly summer annual species to make seed before we get in fall of the year to try to get these under control.”

You don’t want to make deposits in your weed bank.

“These seeds, they don’t all die off or germinate the next year. Seed longevity in the seed bank is why we have weed issues every year,” Hager said. “Not all of these seeds, when they are produced, are in a state they can actually even germinate. They have to go through a cycle that breaks the seed dormancy; that can take years. So the best way to try to not have to deal with them is simply not allow that seed to be produced this year.”