Above-normal weed populations are more than a control concern; they can impact other crop management systems as well.

“Weeds use up soil nitrogen and other nutrients, taking them away from the crop,” says John Pawlak, product development manager for Valent. In addition, certain weeds, such as chickweed, henbit and purple deadnettle, can harbor insects detrimental to corn and soybeans. And in dry climates, weeds use moisture that may be needed for the crop.

“And by helping to eliminate established weeds and preventing new weeds from emerging, growers will have warmer, cleaner seedbeds,” Flanigan says. “That could help them get into the fields to plant a few days sooner.”

Waiting could put you at a significant disadvantage. “It is very likely that we will have weeds that get a jump on the growing season,” Gehant says. “We must get in at the labeled rate and height. With growth further along than normal, that means we will need to get into the fields earlier.”