Harvest is wrapping up. Now is the best time to control winter annuals such as henbit, shephedspurse, pennycress, and marestail. Fall has been proven to be the best time to treat winter annuals.
- Winter annuals in the fall have not yet developed thick cuticles that allow for better penetration of the herbicide.
- During the fall these weeds are translocating carbohydrates and energy down into their roots and by using growth regulator herbicides such as 2,4-D and/or dicamba you allow for better control.
- Controlling winter annuals in the fall has a major benefit compared to possible unfavorable soil conditions in the spring. Winter annuals during a dry spring, could diminish valuable early moisture for crop seedlings. Conversely, in a cool wet spring, having a blanket of winter annuals can delay the drying and warming of the soil and thus push back planting.
- Some spring applied pre-plant burndowns have intervals that could cause planting delay
- Fall burn down applications lessens concern with drift onto neighboring sensitive plants.
The ideal time to spray is late October through the middle of November. By holding off on treatment, you allow for higher germination rates and ultimately greater control. Some people may rule out treatment this fall thinking that the winter annuals have been wounded by a frost. The truth is that winter annuals are quite hardy and tolerant to cold weather. With that being said, fall is the optimum time to control winter annuals and allow for a clean seed bed come spring time. Call your local Agricultural Services location today to line up your fall burndown acres and see the benefits come spring time!