With the start of a new growing season fast approaching, many thoughts are on how to maximize yields for the 2018 crops. One important aspect to address is the need to control winter and spring annual weeds. Winter and spring annual weeds germinate in the fall or early spring and complete their life cycle in early summer.
Issues created by the growth of winter and spring annual weeds can have an impact on many aspects of the corn and soybean production. Dense growth can delay planting by affecting seedbed quality, soil moisture, and soil temperature. Winter and Spring annuals can also play host to seedling disease’s, and attract unwanted insects.
One of the biggest issues with increased winter annual weeds is their effect on timely planting in the spring. DuPont Pioneer research has consistently shown the value of timely planting for optimizing yields and reducing grain moisture at harvest. Dense winter and spring annual weed growth shields the soil from the sun preventing it from warming and drying.
Several winter annual weed species, including field pennycress, shepherd's purse, henbit, small-flowered bittercress, common chickweed and purple deadnettle can serve as alternative hosts for soybean cyst nematode. Female black cutworm moths are attracted to many winter annuals such as shepherd’s purse, dock, mustards, and chickweed in the spring to lay their eggs. The larvae then move into adjoining corn or soybean fields just prior to or shortly after planting. Contact an Agricultural Services, Inc agronomist to find out how to start your season off right, by starting it off clean.