Extension specialist says late planting could make managing weeds easier

An extension weed specialist says the late start to the planting season could make it easier to manage some weeds this spring. Mark Loux tells Brownfield assuming farmers start with clean fields, there is a shorter period of weed emergence to deal with.  “And the crop grows faster,” he says.  “What we find is there’s less of a need for a second post-emergence application.”

He says farmers have lost an average of five working days in April because of climate change patterns.  And that creates its own set of challenges.  “That means we have fewer chances to actually get in and kill weeds,” he says.  “One of the things we recommend is $6 or $8 worth of herbicide the previous fall so you take all those weeds out, start clean, and you just don’t get into that kind of a crunch.”

Loux says herbicide availability has also created some added hiccups for farmers this spring.   But, he says farmers can only cut their weed control programs so much before it creates longer-term problems.  “If it costs you 25 to 40% more this year and farmers decide they can’t afford that and they cut way back, they’re going to have more weed issues,” he says.  “That’s going to affect you this year, but also in the future.”

According to the latest Crop Progress and Condition report from the USDA, Ohio had just 3 percent of corn and 2 percent of soybeans are planted.  Both are well behind last year and the 5-year average.

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