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Weeds out of control across Indiana fields

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Written Thursday, June 19, 2008  

Wet soils make it hard to get spray rigs in the field for weed control and the windy conditions are less than ideal for herbicide application, said a Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service weed specialist.

Farmers have not been able to get to apply herbicides in a timely manner, so weeds and crops have been growing rapidly, Bill Johnson said.

"Because of the increased adoption of Roundup Ready and Liberty Link and post-emergence herbicides associated with these herbicide-resistant corn hybrids, growers are not relying on soil applied residual herbicides like they used to," Johnson said. "A year of weather like this makes farmers realize they shouldn't just rely on postemergence herbicides."

Pressure continues to mount on applicators to get the herbicides sprayed in a timely manner to get effective weed control.

"Im concerned about getting the appropriate rate of herbicide applied for the size of the weeds and in some cases we will not be able to put on a high enough rate to control them," Johnson said. "Weeds have simply outgrown the label restrictions."

He is also concerned about the growth stage of corn during application.

"Applying herbicides to corn past the recommended growth stages can cause some crop injury due to the size of the corn," Johnson said.

Growers tinkering with the idea of aerial application of herbicides should reconsider. Johnson discourages farmers from using airplanes for herbicide application.

"First, farmers need to check the label of the herbicide to even know if it is permitted," Johnson said. "It's also important to know that it's hard to get uniform coverage because the spray volume is not high enough to get the herbicide down into the crop canopy for effective weed control."

For questions and more information about controlling weeds this year or herbicide application, contact Johnson at (765) 494-4656 or wgjohnso@purdue.edu .

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