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If This Isn't Your Burndown Strategy, It Should Be

Feb 28, 2019

Spring burndown applications can help you in the fight against weed resistance. Darrin Holder, regional agronomist, WinField United, says this proactive approach is critical. “Once herbicide resistance takes root on a farm, in-crop opportunities for control are limited.”


ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
Effective weed control starts by asking the right questions. First, work with your GreenPoint AG advisor to outline your crop rotation schedule and field history. List recurring weed problems and signs of herbicide resistance. Don’t limit your analysis to your acres; examine conditions in neighboring fields. If a neighbor is fighting resistance, it’s likely that seed will be in your fields soon.

THINK LONG TERM
Even a small patch of resistant weeds left unchecked one year can become a big problem the following season. “Develop a multi-year, multi-crop strategy,” advises Holder. “If you're battling resistant Palmer amaranth, it can be worth investing in a burndown treatment before this year’s corn crop to protect next year’s soybean crop.”

PRESCRIBE THE BEST TANK MIX
Herbicides with residual control extend burndown benefits, helping crops stay clean during critical stand establishment. “Even small weeds can rob emerging crops of valuable moisture and nutrients,” says Holder. “If you take away moisture and nutrients, you take away yield potential.”


Application Timing is Key
    When you spray may be as important as what you spray. In a year like 2019 is shaping out to be, your spring burndown application is critical to optimal success. Application timing will affect the efficacy of the product you’re spraying. Spraying too early in the morning when dew is still on the plant can cause a loss in that application’s ability to perform. If you’re going to spend the money for a premium application, make sure you take the time to spray when you get the most bang for your buck. We recommend waiting until the dew is off the plants and it warms up. The plant is most likely taking up nutrients during warmer parts of the day. This provides the best window to increase efficacy of your spray application. 
 
Adjuvants Matter More Than You Think
            Having to make multiple burndown applications can put a strain on your ROI. When spending the money early for optimal success, it’s in your best agronomic interest to add the proper adjuvants. When spraying a growth regulator product like 2,4-D paired with Cornerstone 5 Plus, you will want to have a course nozzle such as an AIXR and a product like Interlock® in the tank to get the product onto the target weeds. Certain burndown products also require high surfactant oil concentrates (HSOC) or methylated seed oils (MSO) to help “heat them up”. These products help the herbicide’s active ingredients break through the plant’s cuticle to do its job – kill the weed. It’s important to understand which products need these kinds of adjuvants and how to mix and apply them. Working with your local GreenPoint AG Advisor can help you determine which is the best burndown mixture for your operation. 
 
Planning is Key to a Successful Season
            When considering spring burndown applications, remember that certain residuals have plant-back restrictions. This can affect not only the crop you plant this year but also next year’s crop. Therefore, it’s important to know when you should spray and when the effects of a herbicide could carryover to the next season. GreenPoint AG has tools that can help you put together a solid burndown plan that gets you through the season. Pre-plant applications can be key in weed control, and proper planning can ensure you extend the life of that control. 
 


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