|Figure 1. Weed flush after small grains harvest|
Recent travel across Minnesota highlights that it is small grains harvest time. Thrashed fields have a clean look, especially from the highway. However, closer examination reveals a great number of weeds, especially waterhemp, emerging from the stubble. More swathing due to uneven harvest maturity and significant lodging resulted in weeds getting a head start this season.
Controlling weeds post-harvest is an essential component of the weed management strategy, since we want to establish zero tolerance for weed escapes and new weed seeds entering the seed bank. Like always, begin by scouting fields and observing weed spectrum and size. Some weeds may have been cut by harvest equipment and are stems with insufficient leaf surface to intercept herbicide application. Allowing time for regrowth to occur will ensure their control. Several strategies you may consider include the following: