Fall burndown benefits go beyond weed control, according to experts with BASF Crop Protection.
For instance, applying a burndown in the fall helps to provide flexibility in the spring. Often, spring weather can be unpredictable, and there are fewer days for optimal herbicide application in spring than in fall.
“Over the the last two years, many growers have faced a compressed spring because of cold and wet weather, resulting in less time to apply a preplant or burndown herbicide before planting,” said Mark Oostlander, Technical Market Manager, BASF. “A burndown application applied in the fall, when there are more suitable days for fieldwork, provides certainty that an application can be completed.”
Another benefit is temperature control. A recent study conducted by Kevin Bradley, Ph.D., Associate Professor of plant sciences at the University of Missouri, found that fall burndown applications help increase soil temperature. The study found that spring soil temperatures increased by as much as 5 degrees in corn and 8 degrees in soybeans when a residual fall herbicide was applied.
“Controlling winter annual weeds with a fall burndown can also result in greater soil moisture when it comes time for planting,” said Bradley. “With those weeds eliminated, the competition for moisture and other nutrients is also eliminated.”
Finally, burndown in the fall can help with pest control, since winter annual weeds can serve as hosts for other pests that might overwinter in crop fields. Pests like soybean cyst nematode and black cutworm are easier to control in the fall by eliminating winter weeds.
For more weed control tips, visit AdvancedWeedControl.basf.us.