Weed Management

Proactive weed management is a key driver for profitability in farming business and that is why every farmer must protect their crops from the highly competitiveplant called weed.

Weed must be controlled within the first 3 to 6 weeks after crops planting in order to avoid competition for soil nutrients which will lead to low yield.

Weed control programmes are 3 namely:

  • Cultural
  • Preventative
  • Mechanical
  • Chemical

The listed weed management techniques are very effective when farmers  applied them at the right time for crops to perform optimally, clearing off every weed from the field after planting. Every farmer must have weed effective control schedule in order to reduce cost of production and maximize profit.

Accurate weed identification is the first step to successfully managing weeds. Since weeds vary in their ability to compete with crops and reduce yields and also vary in their response to different management strategies, proper identification is essential to develop effective management plans.

There are four main systems of controlling weeds:

Preventative (not letting weeds become established)

Cultural (practices like adjusting planting date that aid or deter weed development)

Mechanical (weeding, cultivation, hand pulling as examples)

Chemical (herbicide application).

Following are several preventative cultural practices that do not allow weeds to become established and spread:

• Control weeds in non‐cropland areas, including fencerows, drainage ditch banks, and rights‐of‐way

• Plant only high quality weed‐free crop seed

• Do not spread manure, hay, crop residues, etc. contaminated with weed seed on cropland

• Clean farm machinery between fields to avoid transport of weed seed, rhizomes, tubers, and rootstocks

• If “new” or unfamiliar weeds appear, have them identified quickly and take appropriate control measures if necessary

Any practice that provides optimum conditions for early and vigorous growth of crops helps give them a competitive edge over weeds. Following are some of these practices:

• Narrow row spacing (15 inches or less) for soybeans

• Proper planting date and seeding rate

• Use of disease‐ and nematode‐resistant varieties

• Insect control

• Adequate soil fertility

• Adequate drainage

• Seed treatments – most corn is treated with seed treatments; soybeans may need seed treatments to help with early season growth, especially if planting early in the season.

It is important to select herbicides based on the weeds present in a field. Chemical weed control involves the use of herbicides to suppress or kill weeds. There are many different herbicides available and some knowledge about how particular herbicides work is necessary before applying herbicides.

Herbicide rate and application timing are always important factors to consider when using herbicides. There are types of herbicide:

  • Selective herbicides will control certain plant species and the cultivated crops relatively unharmed.
  • Nonselective herbicides will harm all vegetation contacted by the herbicide application.

Herbicide applications are made at different times depending on manufacturer instructions, crop, and weeds present and crop and weed growth stages. Rates should be based on soil type, target weeds, and objectives of the application.

Weed species, density, and growth rates are critical factors influencing how long weeds can compete with the crop before yields are reduced. Control weeds as soon as they emerge emerge, no matter how small weeds are, it can reduce crop yields if present at high densities due to increasing competition.

A well designed weed management plan involves field scouting and protects crops from weed competition, prevents weed populations from increasing over time, minimizes herbicide injury, and delays or prevents herbicide resistant weed development. Considerations from the previous year • Weed escapes or problems the previous year   • Environmental conditions the previous year, including conditions favorable for herbicide carryover • Herbicide tolerant crops used the previous year

• Weed management is vital for maximizing crop production.

• Accurate weed identification is the first step to successfully managing weeds. Because weed species vary in their response to different management strategies, proper identification is essential to develop effective management plans.

• These plans include preventative, cultural, mechanical, or chemical control methods that are specific to the particular cropping system and weeds present.

• Control methods must be employed at the appropriate time for optimum results.

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