Are you sick and tired of seeing marestail escape control in your soybeans? A lot of talk has centered on palmer amaranth recently. If you have it, it's a nightmare. But most of you more likely have marestail. If you can't kill it, it may not be a nightmare, but it's certainly a bad dream. Think of it as a ghost that keeps haunting your soybean fields each year.
Bryan Overstreet, County Extension ag educator in Jasper County and an Indiana Certified Crop Adviser, refers farmers who want to spray fall herbicides to the 2015 Ohio, Indiana and Illinois Weed Control Guide. It was prepared by Bill Johnson, Brian Young and their counterparts in other states.
The Guide includes recommendations for fall herbicide programs, Overstreet says. One recommendation ahead of corn is Simazine plus 2,4-D. The other is Basis/Harrow and 2,4-D.
If the field will be in soybeans next year, which is where the worst problems with marestail tend to appear, Overstreet says Canopy/Cloak plus 2,4-D is a good option. If you also have chickweed and want to knock out the winter annual, go with Canopy EX or Cloak EX or Fallout with 2,4-D instead.
Other options that work for fall applications if you're going to either corn or soybeans next spring include glyphosate and 2,4-D or dicamba and 2,4-D, he says. These are good choices if dandelions are a problem as well as marestail.
If you don't have dandelion issues then you could consider metribuzin plus 2,4-D.
Overstreet relied on the weed guide to arrive at these recommendations. You can Google it, and then download it if you like. The entire publication is about 200 pages, but fall applications are concentrated into one section of the book.
Those who want to go with cover crops are locked out of the fall herbicide option, unless it would be spot-spraying or spraying with a non-selective produce for certain weeds.
However, Barry Fisher of the Natural Resources Conservation Service reports that many farmers see help on marestail control if they no-till into a cover crop, particularly cereal rye.