From the farm: Managing weeds in 2022

Agriculture

CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — COVID issues at Chinese chemical plants, shipping issues and hurricane damage to U.S. chemical plants have combined to reduce the availability of the popular herbicides Roundup and Liberty.

Weed management and farming practices will change in 2022 and farmers need to start now in their planning, said Illinois Weed Specialist Aaron Hager.

“It’s really important, I think, for farmers to sit down and have conversations with their input supplier sooner rather than later,” said Hager. “Flexibility is going to become very, very important in these times of shortages and high prices. We may simply may not be able to get the product a farmer may have used for years, had relied upon for many, many years. So the question becomes: Can you find the alternative? There’s going to be alternative products, but we certainly suggest that you take the time to understand the spectrum of control is for these products if you have not used them before. And do they adequately control the species that you have most commonly or most problematic in your field.”

Hager said with the shortage of popular Foliar applied herbicides, there is an increased importance of preventing weed emergence.

“We think in 2022–especially as we see very tight supplies of the more common Foliar applied herbicides–the practice, the idea of building a very good residual program at planting time is going to take on increased importance, especially if we have a limited supply of our post emergence products, so again, know your spectrum, what do you have. It is always good to know what the emergence pattern is. If waterhemp is one of your species of concern, you never have one generation of waterhemp in a season, you have a very prolonged emergence period, so, and your build that foundational residual program close to planting time, you come up with here are goin gto be my options in the Foliar applied for that first post emergence, then again do you need to add residual in with that post application to carry you out through the rest of the season, so you don’t necessarilty have to make a second post application, again, if these products are going to be in tight supply.”

As a guide to begin planning, Hager suggests the weed control guide for Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.

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