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Online guide helps farmers make complex management decisions in their fields.

February 1, 2023

2 Min Read
closeup of amaranth weed
WEED GUIDE: K-State Research and Extension released the updated publication 2023 Chemical Weed Control for Field Crops, Pastures, Rangeland and Noncropland. This guide, available in print and online, helps farmers and ranchers navigate the complex factors in making weed management decisions. Albin Raj/Getty images

By Pat Melgares

Kansas State University has released a publication that helps farmers and other landowners sort through many factors related to controlling weeds on pastures and other land.

Weed scientist Sarah Lancaster said the 2023 Chemical Weed Control for Field Crops, Pastures, Rangeland and Noncropland is now available online from the K-State Research and Extenion bookstore.

“Weed management decisions are complex not only due to the interaction of weed management with agronomic, environment and economic factors, but also because herbicide labels are frequently updated, and each company provides that information in different ways,” Lancaster says. “This publication is designed to provide decision-makers with one resource to find the unbiased information needed to develop an herbicide program.

“It’s been more than 20 years since an herbicide with a new mode of action was registered, so it’s important that farmers and their advisers are good stewards of the products we have available. This means using nonchemical practices and being sure to mix and rotate herbicide active ingredients to help slow the development of herbicide-resistant weed populations.” 

According to Lancaster, there are some new products outlined in K-State’s 2023 guide, particularly for corn, soybeans and wheat, but most of those products are combinations of existing active ingredients.

“This guide,” she notes, “can help decision-makers as a tool to compare the active ingredients in products so they can better compare branded products.”

Follow the label

The guidelines for applying herbicides are normally outlined on the product’s label.

“One thing to remember is that the label is the law,” Lancaster says. “In most cases, the label that is on the container being used will have the guidelines the user is obligated to follow. In some cases, that label may be older or newer than the information in the weed guide.”

She also urges landowners to remember that proper weed control often is influenced by weather.

“Fortunately, farmers and their advisers are accustomed to adapting to unexpected weather conditions, but there can be a lot of details, like crop height restrictions for late-season applications or crop rotation restrictions in a replant situation that need to be remembered as plans are adapted,” Lancaster says.

She adds: “Given the limitations of weather and the development of herbicide-resistant weed populations, it is very important that farmers consider what nonchemical weed management practices they will implement to support their herbicide program. It takes multiple layers of management to successfully control our most troublesome weeds, like Palmer amaranth and waterhemp.”

While the full publication can be viewed online, print copies of the 2023 Chemical Weed Control for Field Crops, Pastures, Rangeland and Noncropland can also be ordered online.

Updates to the guide will be made to the online version, as well as announced in the K-State Department of Agronomy's weekly e-Update, and on social media (@KStateWeedSci).

Melgares is a writer for KSURE.

Source: Kansas State University Research and Extension News Service

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