Of course, a late cold snap could kill off weeds that break dormancy early, but mild weather into the early spring will mean producers need to closely monitor fields and move up their weed control programs. “Burndown applications should be targeted soon after dormancy break during good growing conditions for best results,” says Dan Westberg, BASF technical marketing manager. “Warmer conditions mean winter annual weeds may break dormancy earlier, so applications need to be applied earlier.”

Dawn Refsell, field marketing development specialist with Valent U.S.A. Corporation, says winter annuals, like marestail, could “bolt” earlier and become difficult to control. “You will want to target winter annuals when they are in the rosette stage, not when they are bolting,” she says. “By spraying in early spring, you can also prevent the winter annuals from producing seed and subsequently limiting the amount of weeds you will have to deal with in the future, since winter annual weed seeds are relatively short-lived in the soil.”