Waterhemp, other weeds get the jump on late planted crops

A Wisconsin weed scientist says the weeds are emerging, and in some places, they’re up before the corn and soybeans. 

Dr. Rodrigo Werle with the University of Wisconsin tells Brownfield waterhemp wasted no time poking out of the ground. “On May 17th, I spotted waterhemp for the first time this growing season at our Janesville location, and then I drove up to our Brooklyn location at the O’Brien Farms, and I also saw waterhemp there.”

Werle says the cool and wet weather slowed planting and crop progress, but the weed seeds were already there, so all they need is some warm weather. “There’s going to be a lot of heat so what I’m anticipating is going to happen here is that waterhemp is going to explode now in this next week or so.”

Werle says growers will need to start scouting and continue scouting fields and be ready to spray. “A preemergence herbicide is going to be key, and if there are some waterhemp established already, you know, be strategic about not letting that waterhemp grow too much before you trigger a foliar application that’s going to burn down those weeds.”

Werle says there are also sightings of Palmer Amaranth already, and that this very aggressive weed has become common across Wisconsin.

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