Can a pre-seed burn-off boost yield?

Category: Grow Grain

While every farm will have a different weed management plan, the goal remains the same: start with a clean field, then maintain it all season long.

Pre-seed burnoff

In most cases, the weeds that come up early in the season will have the greatest negative impact on yield potential. Giving your crop a weed-free start is the best way to make a positive impact. And for that reason, I encourage a good pre-seed burn off.  

Aside from giving your crop a strong start, burn off helps farmers buy a little extra time before in-crop spraying season. Any product that offers residual control helps keep the field free of weeds early on and extends the amount of time before an in-crop application is required. When weather conditions are poor, which has been the case the last few years, that extra time can add up to a lot of peace of mind.

Burn off helps with resistance management issues as well:

  1. Use alternative modes of action; and,
  2. Control weeds when they’re small – especially winter annuals.

Winter annuals can get a head start on the crop if they’re not controlled early. They grow to a good size in the spring, so by the time your in-crop spray window rolls around, they can be a very large problem. Burn off is a great way to control hard-to-kill weeds while they’re small. Make sure to use a high enough application rate during burn off, as these weeds will only be tougher and more expensive to control later.

A pre-seed burn off also gives you the opportunity to spray a herbicide with a different active ingredient than you would normally use. Heat® and Authority® are pre-seed products from groups we don’t typically use in-crop. Depending on the rate of application, these products can also provide extended (residual) control.

PrePass™ and Korrex™ II are great options for residual control of broadleaf weeds. These products can also control flushing volunteer canola for up to 14 days. For wild oats, consider a product like Inferno™ Duo or Olympus®. Any time you are working with residual herbicides, it’s important to think of re-cropping restrictions, soil type and moisture. Talk to your agronomist about the best fit for your farm.

In situations where a residual product is not an option, such as prior to seeding canola, consider tank mixing herbicide like Conquer® or Pardner® with your glyphosate.

This is a great time of year to talk to an agronomist at your Cargill location about planning your weed control options, because every year, there are more and more options to choose from! Whether your goal is resistance management, residual control or a solid early season weed free period there are lots of good solutions on the market today. Talk to an agronomist about your situation and objectives, and they will work with you to develop the best weed control plan for your farm. 

If you’d like to talk to an expert about pre-seed burn-off, contact your local Cargill retail location.

Last updated: March 15, 2019. 

Always read and follow herbicide label directions. HEAT® is a registered trade-marks of BASF SE. Authority® and Command® are registered trademarks of FMC Corporation or an affiliate. PrePass™ XC is a registered trademark of The Dow Chemical Company. Express® is a registered trademarks of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. INFERNO is a trademark of Arysta LifeScience North America, LLC. Olympus® and Pardner® are registered trademarks of Bayer. Conquer™ is a trademark of Nufarm Agriculture Inc.


Tags: Crop Inputs, Herbicide, Burn-off

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