Whether your crop is wheat, soy, flax, mustard, canola, peas, etc… the message is the same: controlling weeds early will give the biggest yield in the end. This message has been repeated in the past but new research highlights the need to repeat the same message again.
In the past few years, active ingredients for herbicides have come out with longer windows of application and effectiveness. Now we see growers pushing off application in order to spray later. Early season grassy weed competition can steal a lot more yield than most people consider. It does not cost more for a grower to apply herbicide, compared to the cost of yield and quality if you are to miss the window of application. Getting into fields early will ensure that you hit the proper application windows, enabling growers to spray across the whole farm. Weeds can also steal fertilizer that has been placed for the crop at the early stages, so timely application of your herbicides ensures the crop doesn’t have to compete for fertilizer. These are just some ways why early spraying can help to increase yields at the end of the season.
Poor, non-effective herbicide application not only affects how the crop has to compete with weeds during growth it affects the grade and dockage of the crop. High dockage and low grades really can hit home as the price usually reflects. Agriculture is a low margin sector, lost yield, poor grades and high dockage really can affect the bottom line! Human edible markets want the purest whole seed and processing equipment can only do so much. Many weeds are considered degrading factors if they are inseparable from the crop. Flax and other small seed crops have several listed weeds that are considered inseparable and deemed a degrading factor.
Peas can see a yield bump from early weed control, and harvesting becomes much easier without having to deal with green weeds. Research trials have shown for years that the critical weed-free period is usually one or two weeks after pea emergence, so during this time is important to keep your field weed free. You are limited to herbicides in pulse crops, however, spraying early will insure that you crop is protected all season long.
As seeding comes to an end and sprayers begin to hit the field, there are a couple things to remember.
Watch your correct spraying windows, early weed control is important!
Be aware of wind, rain, and temperature as they are going to influence effectiveness.
Flush the lines properly; we don’t want carry over from previously applied herbicides.
Feel free to talk to a local agronomist or the Zeghers team for more information on the correct herbicide timing to improve the yield and quality of your flax, peas, wheat, and other specialty crops!