Fall Residual Herbicides: A Double Edged Sword

Darrin Dodds, Extension Cotton Specialist
By Darrin Dodds, Extension Cotton Specialist March 15, 2013 09:18

Fall Residual Herbicides:  A Double Edged Sword

Fall-applied residual herbicides went out on a significant amount of acreage in Mississippi during the fall of 2012.  In some cases, such as where glyphosate-resistant Italian ryegrass is present, these applications are key components for optimizing weed control.  However, in other cases, these applications are being targeted toward species that can likely be controlled with spring herbicide applications.  Regardless of why you applied a fall residual herbicide, you must consider the other side of the coin prior to making these applications.  Fall residual herbicide applications made in 2012 were very effective for weed control which left fields with little to no vegetation to stabilize beds during periods of heavy rainfall.  As such, heavy rainfall throughout the winter of and early spring months of 2012 and 2013 has eroded beds to the point that a large amount of land preparation will be needed before crops can be planted in 2013.  If you are planting on flat ground this issue is moot; however, keep in mind the amount of soil loss from water erosion that is potentially occurring.

Please do not misunderstand the intention of this information.  We are not opposed to fall herbicide applications; however, you are encouraged to make them where they are necessary for profitable crop production but do not make them where they are not needed.  If you choose to make a fall residual herbicide application, you should factor time and money into your budget for re-working beds prior to planting.  Although we are on the cusp of the 2013 season, keep this in mind this fall when planning for the 2014 season.


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Photo Courtesy of Mr. Jerry Singleton

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Darrin Dodds, Extension Cotton Specialist
By Darrin Dodds, Extension Cotton Specialist March 15, 2013 09:18
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