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As we progress through thiscooler-than-normal spring, wheat growers quickly are being faced with weed management decisions.
This spring, the million-dollar question has been, “Will my herbicides work in these cool temperatures?” Some growers have delayed herbicide applications in hope of better weather in coming days.
Stress conditions, whether they be moisture or temperature related, limit physiological processes in all plants, including weeds, to some degree. This can limit the response of weeds to herbicide applications. Adequate levels of control often can be achieved, but the slower activity of the herbicide application sometimes allows weeds to recover before a crop can out-compete them.
The slower activity of the plants caused by cooler temperatures also may slow the metabolic process of the herbicide by the desired crop, resulting in crop injury.
So, back to the original question — do you spray or wait for better weather? The number and size of the weeds, as well as weed species in the spectrum ultimately determine the answer. If you feel you can wait a few days and still maintain adequate weed control, the logical choice is to wait.
Dr. Jim Martin, University of Kentucky Extension weed specialist, recently gave the following tips to consider as we progress through the next few days:
For more information about weed control in wheat, contact the Hardin County Extension Service at (270) 765-4121.
Matt Adams is a Hardin County Extension Service agent for agriculture and natural resources.