Fall burndown sets up strong 2011

Between this year’s harvest and next spring’s planting, winter annual weeds can take over fields, but a fall burndown application can knock down weeds and set up growers for a strong 2011 crop.

“Eliminating winter annuals with a fall burndown gives growers a clean field in the spring, providing them the opportunity to manage spring planting more effectively, control resistant weeds and maximize their yield potential,” said Dan Westberg, technical market manager for BASF.

According to the University of Illinois Extension, dense populations of winter annuals can physically interfere with planting and may reduce soil drying and warming, which can delay planting and limit the time available for spring field operations.

Westberg explained that eliminating winter annual weeds provides growers the opportunity for an earlier planting date, which gives crops more time to maximize their yield potential.

Completing fieldwork in the fall, such as combining a weed burndown and fertilizer application, also helps growers spread out their workload and manage planting with greater flexibility in the spring. A cleaner field allows soils to warm up more quickly in the spring and limits fertilizer loss to winter annual weeds. This gives growers the potential to plant earlier, protect fertilizer investments and gain yield benefits, in addition to providing much-needed flexibility and time during the busy planting season.

“Growers can get even more flexibility in the spring by using Sharpen herbicide, powered by Kixor herbicide technology, for fall burndown,” said Westberg. “At its burndown use rate, Sharpen has no planting restrictions the following spring. As a result, growers can change their cropping plan in the spring to adapt to changes in weather and market opportunities.”

Kixor controls more than 70 broadleaf weeds, including a number of winter annuals that establish themselves in the fall and are becoming increasingly resistant to traditional herbicide chemistries. Marestail is a winter annual that can be especially difficult to control in the spring — particularly if wet or cold weather delays timely spring applications.

Additionally, glyphosate and/or ALS resistant marestail are common in many fields. In fact, a BASF survey found that 45 percent of growers polled list marestail as a top threat in their fields. Kixor provides effective control of marestail, making it an invaluable tool growers can use to manage resistant weeds.

“A fall burndown application is an excellent resistance management tool because it gives growers another opportunity to bring a different mode of action to bear on their weed populations,” Westberg said.

To optimize fall burndown results — and get the most out of every acre — growers should utilize a fast, effective herbicide like Sharpen herbicide, powered by Kixor herbicide technology, which provides complete control of today’s toughest broadleaf weeds.

Additional information can be found on the web at http://www.agro.basf.com.