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Get Off On
The Right Foot

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Recap: Get Off On
The Right Foot


Mark Scott
Mark Scott Crop Consulting and Ag Research
Lubbock, Texas

The 2009 cotton planting season is but a few months away. We are looking at difficult challenges ahead. Potentially low commodity prices and high production costs will make planning for the upcoming crop extremely important. Getting the new crop off “on the right foot” is especially important. An effective early season weed control program is one of the keys to getting started toward that profitable cotton harvest.

In the Southern High Plains of Texas, south and west of Lubbock, early season weed control is essential for getting off to a good start. In our area, a majority of the acres planted are planted into Roundup Ready or Roundup Ready Flex varieties.

Roundup agricultural herbicide is still a very effective non-selective herbicide that can be used efficiently in controlling many of our problem weeds. Although Roundup still gives good, cost-effective weed control, it should never be relied on solely in a season-long weed control program. With the potential for weed resistance, glyphosate should always be used in a multi-attack herbicide program.

An effective herbicide program for cotton should contain several different weed control chemistries. An application of one of the “yellows” before planting and behind the planter is always “money well spent.” Treflan, Prowl and their generics give us many weeks of uninterrupted cheap, residual, weed control. We can also add over-thetop applications of Staple or Dual to our program to extend our weed control and target weeds that are not as efficiently managed by Treflan or Prowl. These residual products can help save several essential applications of glyphosate so that they can be used at critical times when weed escapes or tough weeds need to be controlled.

Just because a producer spends the money for a variety that contains one of the herbicide-resistant genes, he should not rely totally on that chemistry to be his “silver bullet” in keeping his fields free from problem weeds. Good programs always have control strategies that attack weed species from as many angles as possible. This approach gives longer and better control of weeds in a field and ensures that some of our more effective herbicides are effective for many years to come.


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