Having an effective fall burndown herbicide has always been important for cotton producers. For 2010, it will be even more crucial.
First, after record-breaking rainfall in many parts of the Belt in September and October, the potential for outbreaks of numerous weed species has increased dramatically. Specifically, producers are bracing for the spread of more resistant pigweed.
Second, the additional moisture may cause nitrification and leaching of important soil nutrients.
For both of these reasons, an effective burndown is critically important if the 2010 crop season is to begin with clean fields. Veteran Mississippi cotton consultant Tucker Miller says an effective burndown is an important investment for producers as they prepare for the new crop year.
“Obviously, the window is shorter this fall with all the rains we had back in September and October,” he says. “But there is no question that the sooner a producer puts down an effective burndown, the better chance he has of avoiding troublesome weeds such as pigweed.”
Starting With Clean Fields
Miller says an effective fall burndown, coupled with a residual herbicide application 10 to 14 days before planting in the spring, can pay dividends for cotton producers. It is often the difference between a clean start or having to deal with serious outbreaks of resistant pigweed.
Miller says he has observed good results with DuPont’s FirstShot herbicide application for weed control. The herbicide is used mostly as a late winter or early spring preplant treatment in tankmixes with glyphosate or other burndown products. DuPont officials also point to how the herbicide promotes moisture and nutrient conservation in seed bed preparation.
“We’ve had good success with this herbicide,” says Miller. “It’s all about having the ability to tankmix with other products, and this product seems to give us good flexibility.”
Martin Wojcik, DuPont’s cereal herbicide portfolio manager, says a weed such as pigweed can rob the soil of moisture and eventually get out of control in a hurry.
Whether a farmer is planting cotton, corn or soybeans, he is convinced that applying FirstShot is a proactive way to deal with weed problems – mainly because of its flexibility and mode of action.
“Anything that we can do to change the activity in our chemistries will help,” he says. “That’s why I think a fall burndown is effective as well as a pre-plant residual application.”
DuPont contributed information for this article.