Chemical control with herbicides has been an important tool for managing weeds for many years. A strong herbicide plan is essential in controlling your weed population-maximizing your CRP establishment success. The tips below will help you build a successful CRP establishment plan.
1. Positively ID weed species
Determining the weeds that create the most problems for you and which CRP mix you intend to plant can help narrow down which herbicide will work best for your project. Many herbicides can be used with several different CRP mixes, but there are some herbicides that are species specific. Knowing if your weeds are annual, biennial, or perennial and knowing their life cycle can help you choose the best herbicide for you and when to apply them.
2. Knowing if your weeds are resistant
Resistance happens with the repeated use of the same herbicide or from the application of an herbicide similar to those used ineffectively in the past. Using another type of herbicide or rotating your herbicide might help control your weed’s resistance to these chemicals.
3. Crop safety matters
You want your herbicide to attack your weeds—not your CRP planting. Doing a little bit of research and making sure your herbicide won’t do damage to seed mix can save you from a failed planting.
4. It’s all about timing
Understanding the life cycle of the weeds in your field will help you determine the best time to apply your herbicide. For example, winter annual weeds should be treated in the fall. Application timing can affect the effectiveness of the herbicide and applying at the wrong time can be inefficient and ineffective.
5. Buy Your Herbicides at the Right Time
Satisfied with your current herbicide plan? Stick with what works! Purchasing the herbicides you know work for you as early in the season as possible can save money and time.
6. Understand “control” versus “suppression”
Always read the label for your herbicide! When an herbicide says it can help to “control” the specific weeds you have there is a greater chance of killing the majority of your weed population. Some cheaper herbicides will claim “suppression” of the weed which means you can expect some weeds to still grow. Selecting the least expensive herbicide may not be the most cost effective in the long run.
7. Apply the recommended amount
It may seem like a no brainer, but always apply the correct or recommended amount of herbicide. Applying reduced rates of herbicide may contribute to creating resistance to that herbicide, allowing some weeds to survive.
8. Look to the past
When dealing with chemicals it’s important to consider your field’s history. Knowing the chemical makeup of the past herbicides you’ve used, as well as from the herbicides you’ve selected for next year, helps make your planting a success. Be sure you know the Pre Harvest Interval (PHI) for each of the herbicides you’ve chosen, and make certain that these products will not affect the CRP mix your required to plant.
10. Read the directions
Always read and follow the label use directions before using any chemical on your field. Not only is the label the law, but by doing so you can save yourself the hassle of reapplying, the danger of damaging your planting and the waste of money that comes with reckless herbicide application.