Making bareground applications in the fall might be considered uncharted territory for many. But this strategic shift in timing could enhance your total vegetation control (TVC) program with benefits like broader control and cost savings. For answers on how, we turned to a pair of field experts.
Beau Miller, VM specialist with Corteva Agriscience, has been recommending fall-timed TVC treatments for years, in part because he says it provides the opportunity for optimized control of the broadest spectrum of weeds with one application.
“The timing allows you to spray and establish a preemergence barrier in the soil as cooler temperatures invite winter annuals to emerge and germinate,” Miller says. “Spraying actively germinating weeds is very effective and stops them from depositing seedbeds in the soil or overwintering to spring, when many become harder to control.”
Miller recommends a tank mix of 3 pints of Cleantraxx® herbicide with 3.3 ounces of Opensight® specialty herbicide. It can be applied once in the fall before most weeds have emerged but before the ground is frozen, for season-long control.
“Spraying later in the season with this mix treats emerging winter annuals, like marestail, when they are smaller and easier to control,” Miller says. “But it also allows you to pick up any summer annuals and perennials that are lingering, like thistles.”
Reduce crop exposure and balance workloads
Stacie Songer, also a VM specialist with Corteva Agriscience, says she’s seen an increased interest in fall bareground applications in her area, as vegetation managers and applicators look to better balance workloads and reduce liability concerns.
“We’re working with some progressive customers to put out TVC trials using a couple of different combination mixes of Cleantraxx with Milestone or Opensight,” Songer says. “They see the advantages of moving these applications to the fall season in order to lighten workloads in the spring, so we want to examine how the timing might also improve control.”
Additionally, Songer says, it’s appealing to shift these highly residual applications to later in the season when many sensitive crops aren’t present.
“It reduces concerns around off-target damage on sites that are adjacent to crops or other sensitive areas,” Songer says.
Improve resistance management and public perception
For years, glyphosate has been a leading herbicide in TVC programs. But Miller points to two reasons why many vegetation managers want to reduce the role it plays in their programs, and explains how employing a more potent fall application can help.
“It’s common for applicators to have to go out multiple times a year to treat postemergence with glyphosate in order to keep use sites clear from vegetation,” he says. “Weed resistance has rendered those treatments much less effective.”
His alternative is one fall treatment using the combination of Cleantraxx and Opensight, or substituting Milestone® specialty herbicide for Opensight when treating more sensitive areas.
“Using multiple modes of action greatly reduces the risk of weed resistance developing, while increasing your effectiveness in controlling targeted vegetation exponentially,” Miller says. “Cutting three or four applications down to one saves a lot of time and money — resources that can be reallocated to other beneficial activities like foliar and basal applications.”
Current public perceptions and increased scrutiny around glyphosate use is another reason for the desire to reduce its role.
“Many of my customers would just rather not have to deal with the questions, so they are proactively looking for ways to mitigate that by replacing it with other herbicide products,” Miller says.
Corteva Agriscience offers a full portfolio of herbicides geared toward total vegetation control. For additional resources and recommendations, visit BetterBareground.com.
™®Trademarks of Dow AgroSciences, DuPont or Pioneer, and their affiliated companies or their respective owners. When treating areas in and around roadside or utility rights-of-way that are or will be grazed, hayed or planted to forage, important label precautions apply regarding harvesting hay from treated sites, using manure from animals grazing on treated areas or rotating the treated area to sensitive crops. See the product label for details. State restrictions on the sale and use of Milestone and Opensight apply. Consult the label before purchase or use for full details. Cleantraxx is not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Always read and follow label directions. © 2019 CORTEVA.