Herbicide Applications More Effective With PreparationFri, 17 Jun 2016 12:38:30 CDT
Growers in Texas and Oklahoma can make their herbicide applications more effective, efficient and targeted by spending time on sprayer preparation and cleanup.
Haley Nabors, an Enlist™ field specialist who helps growers in Texas and Oklahoma, offers some suggestions to save time, money and headaches. Preparing equipment before starting postemergence applications helps achieve better performance and value from the herbicides growers apply on their corn, cotton and soybeans.
When growers think about preparing for herbicide applications, they tend to think first about servicing the engine and cleaning the tank out. However, all aspects of their equipment deserve attention.
“When moving from one herbicide to another, make sure your equipment is clean,” Nabors says. “Pay attention to hoses, nozzles and areas where residue may collect. Cleaning the entire system thoroughly sets you up for a successful postemergence application without damaging the crop.”
If a grower applies a burndown or a preemergence product, it’s essential to flush all residue from the entire system before adding any postemergence herbicide. This will help avoid damaging emerged crops.
Calibration is critical for making sure you’re delivering the right amount of herbicide to control weeds effectively without wasting product.
Know when to go
Timing is important for making the most positive impact with your postemergence herbicide application. Be aware of the crop stage and treat weeds when they’re small – preferably about 4-6 inches tall and actively growing. Monitor the weather. Hitting the preferred application window offers the best weed control possible. Timely applications can limit weed competition.
Of course, it’s important to choose herbicides that will control the weeds that are troubling a specific field. Nabors notes the Enlist™ weed control system will allow growers who plant Enlist soybeans and Enlist corn to use Enlist Duo® herbicide. This can help simplify postemergence application efforts.
Enlist cotton and Enlist soybeans are tolerant to both glufosinate and Enlist Duo® herbicide – a combination of new 2,4-D choline and glyphosate. Enlist Duo is not yet registered for use on Enlist cotton. However, growers can use labeled glyphosate and glufosinate herbicides on PhytoGen® cottonseed with the Enlist trait.
“Pay attention to the weed spectrum in the field,” Nabors says. “If you have resistant weeds, use a product that will control them. Read the product label carefully and adhere to requirements. This will result in a more effective application and limit environmental concerns.”
If you’re mixing other products in the tank, make sure they’re compatible with your herbicide. Visit EnlistTankMix.com to see a list of nearly 50 products approved for tank mixing with Enlist Duo herbicide.
Select appropriate nozzles
An investment in new nozzles can be money well spent. Nozzles are not designed to last the lifetime of a sprayer. Each brand and model has a different effective lifespan. Make sure the nozzles you use are designed to work with the herbicide you’re applying. For instance, the label for Enlist Duo® herbicide lists 23 nozzles with approved spray pressure ranges.
“Nozzle selection and boom height are two ways growers can mitigate driftable fines,” Nabors says. “Keep the boom height at the lowest approved setting to minimize drift potential. New nozzle technology helps, too. Growers can choose options that deliver larger droplets of systemic herbicides to limit drift.”
Enlist Duo herbicide fits into today’s operations because growers can choose from nearly two dozen nozzle options, some of which may be appropriate for other application needs. The right nozzle and spray pressure can help lead to a quality herbicide application, Nabors says.
Cleaning sprayer equipment
Cleanup is extremely important to avoid unintentional contamination of your next chemical load. Follow product label directions on tank cleanout after herbicide application.
Nabors urges growers to make time for proper cleanup. Don’t stop with the tank: Make sure to clean hoses, filters, screens and nozzles. Residue can collect in tiny spaces in these components. Neglecting them can lead to damage of susceptible crops when you enter another field.
“Enlist Duo herbicide offers the advantage of needing only a single rinse with water if you’re moving into glyphosate-tolerant corn,” Nabors says. “A triple-rinse with water is required for all other crops.”
Any time you’re applying any herbicide, be aware of neighboring crops and sensitive areas. Pay attention to wind speed and direction as well as adhering to product requirements such as buffer zones.
Growers can be more successful with a postemergence herbicide application when they: Prep their equipment, choose herbicides and nozzles carefully, monitor weather and growing conditions, and thoroughly clean their entire sprayer components. It can help save time and money while providing peace of mind.
Visit Enlist.com to learn more about the latest herbicide technology and understand the benefits of the Enlist™ weed control system.
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