Know Your Enemy: The Importance Of Weed Identification

A recent BASF survey found that 76% of growers have made changes to their weed management programs to address weed resistance. With this growing problem spreading across the U.S., it is important to take a comprehensive approach to fighting resistance and controlling weeds. Proper weed identification is fundamental to any effective weed control program.

“The first step in weed control is to know your enemy,” said Kevin Bradley, Ph.D., Associate Professor of plant sciences at the University of Missouri. “If you don’t know what you’re going after, you’re probably going to be behind from the very beginning.”

Scouting should be done early in the season, when weeds are easier to control. Later in the season, those weeds continue to grow and produce seed, further contributing to weed seed banks.

Often, the same weed species will show up in a field year after year, so it is important to know where problem weeds live.

“It’s about characterizing which part of your farm needs certain attention,” said Greg Armel, Technical Market Manager, BASF. “There’s an adage – every year you don’t control weeds, there will be seven more years of fighting that weed. The less you know about what you’re dealing with, the more that weed has a chance to get a foothold in your ground and prevent you from controlling it in an effective manner.”

Newly acquired land, or any major land management changes, requires special attention when scouting and identifying weeds.

“Anything new you might have done to a field, like spread manure or taken ground out of pasture, makes it more critical to know exactly which species are present so you can make the right herbicide selection and get a good program established,” said Bradley.

Palmer Amaranth vs. Waterhemp

While waterhemp has been an established problem for growers, it’s more aggressive “cousin,” Palmer amaranth, has been making its way into growers’ fields. These two weeds can be easily confused. Here are a few tips for identifying Palmer amaranth:

•  Look for long cotyledons – the first two leaves. Palmer amaranth has the longest cotyledons compared to any other pigweed or waterhemp species.

•  Palmer amaranth leaves will be shorter and more rounded compared to waterhemp leaves, which are oar-shaped and glossy.

•  Palmer amaranth has larger brachts than waterhemp. Brachts are the modified leaves associated with the inflorescence of plants. The brachts on female Palmer amaranth plants have a spine-like appearance.

•  The petioles – stem-like structures that anchor leaves – are much larger on Palmer amaranth than other pigweed and waterhemp species. Often the petiole is as long or longer than the leaf.

Foxtail species

Though giant foxtail is the most common foxtail affecting crops in the United States, pockets of green and yellow foxtail have made appearances as well. It is very important to identify which foxtail species you are up against. Yellow foxtail is not easily controlled by certain ALS-inhibiting herbicides, and green foxtail is not easily controlled by certain HPPD-inhibiting herbicide. Giant foxtail is generally the easiest species to control.

• All foxtail species have a fringe of hair at the ligule, a helpful identifier when comparing to similar grasses.

• Giant foxtail has small hairs all over its leaf surface.

• Green foxtail has no hairs on its leaf structure, other than the ligule.

• Yellow foxtail has half-inch long hairs just above the ligule and is smooth over the rest of the leaf surface.

Weed identification is essential to proper weed control. Remember to scout your fields early and often throughout the season.

For more quick tips on weed control, visit AdvancedWeedControl.basf.us.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Crop Inputs Stories

Syngenta Seedcare Institute
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Opens New North America Seedcare Institute In Stanton, MN
September 23, 2016
Syngenta unveiled its new Seedcare Institute in Stanton, MN, during a recent grand opening celebration. More than 150 industry leaders, Read More
Crop InputsJim Loar Promoted To President And CEO Of Cool Planet
September 22, 2016
In a move that reflects and reinforces the company’s commitment to the agricultural market, the Cool Planet board of directors Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto, Bayer Officials Defend Proposed $66 Billion Merger
September 21, 2016
Top officials for Monsanto and Bayer defended their proposed $66 billion merger before skeptical senators on Tuesday, insisting that the Read More
Corn
Crop InputsEPA Settles With Syngenta For Alleged Multi-Regional Pesticide Violations
September 19, 2016
The U.S. EPA has announced a multi-region settlement with Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC (Syngenta) in Greensboro, NC, for alleged violations of Read More
Trending Articles
Bayer Monsanto
Crop InputsBayer-Monsanto Mega-Merger: 6 Things You Need To Know
September 14, 2016
Mega mergers have become almost routine in the agricultural industry. Right on the heels of Monday’s news that fertilizer giants Potash Read More
Potash Corp Agrium
Crop InputsAgrium, Potash Corp To Merge To Create $36 Billion Company
September 12, 2016
Canada’s Agrium Inc. and Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc. have agreed to combine in a deal that would create a Read More
Osage Co-op Elevator Osage, IA Finished Building
OpinionAre We Crazy?
September 8, 2016
At some point in the first few months of my employment here at CropLife® magazine, I started getting curious about Read More
ManagementMAGIE 2016 Highlights and Deere Anti-Trust
September 1, 2016
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj discusses the recent Midwest AG Industries Exposition and the Department of Justice’s objection to John Deere Read More
ASMARK 2016 Retailers Live! Tour - CPS
CropLife 100CPS Acquires Texas Retail Operation
August 23, 2016
Crop Production Services (CPS) has acquired the assets of Larry’s Chemical and Spray, Inc., for an undisclosed amount in an Read More
Key Cooperative Marcus Construction Steel Building
Retail FacilitiesMarcus Construction Builds High-Speed Agronomy Center For Key Cooperative
July 7, 2016
Key Cooperative in Grinnell, IA, wanted a state-of-the-art Agronomy Center to better serve its customers. Marcus Construction delivered exactly that. Read More
Latest News
Syngenta Seedcare Institute
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Opens New North America Seedcare Institute In …
September 23, 2016
Syngenta unveiled its new Seedcare Institute in Stanton, MN, during a recent grand opening celebration. More than 150 industry leaders, Read More
StewardshipMonsanto Invests $1.6 Million In System To Quantify Gre…
September 23, 2016
The USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) recently awarded the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and its Soil Health Read More
Pipe rack
LegislationCourt Sides With Ag Retailers On PSM
September 23, 2016
The D.C. Court of Appeals has ruled the Occupational Safety and Health Administration violated the Occupational Safety and Health Act when Read More
ManagementPacific Coast Fertilizer Announces Interest In Longview…
September 22, 2016
Pacific Coast Fertilizer LP (PCF) announced at the Cowlitz Economic Development Council board of directors meeting its interest in developing Read More
Young corn plants in soil
UncategorizedCool Planet Raises Additional $9 Million To Commerciali…
September 22, 2016
Cool Planet has announced the first close of a new financing round to commercialize the company’s Cool Terra Engineered Biocarbon Read More
Crop InputsJim Loar Promoted To President And CEO Of Cool Planet
September 22, 2016
In a move that reflects and reinforces the company’s commitment to the agricultural market, the Cool Planet board of directors Read More
BlendersNorth Dakota Coop Debuts Dry Fertilizer Plant
September 22, 2016
North Central Grain Cooperative has begun operations at a new dry fertilizer plant at its Rolla, ND, site. It is Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto, Bayer Officials Defend Proposed $66 Billion M…
September 21, 2016
Top officials for Monsanto and Bayer defended their proposed $66 billion merger before skeptical senators on Tuesday, insisting that the Read More
ManagementUpcoming Shows & Recent Events
September 19, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about upcoming trade shows and events and review the Mid America CropLife Association Read More
Industry NewsVerdesian Life Sciences Appoints New CEO
September 19, 2016
Verdesian Life Sciences, a plant health and nutrition company, today announced that its board of directors has named Kenneth M. Avery Read More
Corn
Crop InputsEPA Settles With Syngenta For Alleged Multi-Regional Pe…
September 19, 2016
The U.S. EPA has announced a multi-region settlement with Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC (Syngenta) in Greensboro, NC, for alleged violations of Read More
ManagementMerger Mania
September 16, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss this week’s mega-ag mergers of Bayer and Monsanto and Potash and Agrium. Read More
Monsanto sign
Crop InputsMonsanto Ends Up Being A Bargain For Bayer
September 16, 2016
History will say Bayer got a bargain in its $66 billion purchase of Monsanto, writes David Nicklaus, St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Read More
Greg Musson, Gar Tootelian
CropLife 100California Ag Retailer Steps Up To Feed Families Affect…
September 16, 2016
GAR Tootelian, Inc. (GAR) in Reedley, CA, is challenging the Central Valley to help raise enough money and provide 525,000 meals Read More
Crop InputsBayer, Monsanto CEOs Discuss Merger
September 15, 2016
Werner Baumann, Bayer CEO, and Hugh Grant, Monsanto CEO, discuss why they decided to merge their companies. Read More
Corn close up
Crop InputsNY Times: Bayer-Monsanto a Bad Deal for Farmers
September 15, 2016
Via NY Times: Don Halcomb, a 63-year-old farmer in Adairville, KY, is expecting his profit to vanish this year, largely Read More
Werner Baumann, Bayer AG, and Hugh Grant, Monsanto
Crop InputsBayer-Monsanto Merger Creates New Global Ag Giant
September 14, 2016
During the whole of 2016, many of the companies that do business in the agricultural industry have concluded the best Read More
Bayer Monsanto
Crop InputsBayer-Monsanto Mega-Merger: 6 Things You Need To Know
September 14, 2016
Mega mergers have become almost routine in the agricultural industry. Right on the heels of Monday’s news that fertilizer giants Potash Read More