Using pre-emergent herbicides are by far the most cost and labor effective way to manage weeds in your fields. As soon as the snow melts, start applying spring herbicide. The earlier you can spray the better!
As soil temps rise, weeds will begin to germinate in the soil. Spraying before germination will reduce the amount of post-emergent herbicide needed, saving you both time and money. Using pre-emergent herbicide will also increase your fertilizer effectiveness since there will not be weeds competing with your trees for it.
Here at Goodmark, we use Marengo on any rows of trees that are not scheduled for harvest. This herbicide is expensive but lasts the entire season on virtually any common weeds. When applied, a barrier is created which blocks the weeds. Marengo can become ineffective if that barrier is broken by equipment, so plan accordingly. This will be the only herbicide we use in these areas all year, requiring no summer application.
In areas with trees that will have equipment operating, we use a calculated rotation of chemicals. This spring we are using a mixture of Sureguard and Pendulum Aquacap. Just like with using different modes of action with pesticides, it is important to rotate herbicides. Using diverse chemicals will give you broad coverage in weed species and prevent the buildup of resistance to the chemicals you use.
In the summer, in areas we broke the barrier with equipment during harvest, we will go through these same areas and apply a second round of pre-emergent herbicide in the summer. This second round of pre-emergent this year is going to be a mix of Prodiamine and Tower.
Make sure to read all labels and follow instructions to prevent any damage to your plants and to prevent any incompatibility issues. As always, if you have any questions about pre- or post-emergent herbicides feel free to reach out to us!