Fall Herbicide Applications in Winter Wheat: Should This be an Option for You?

Fall herbicide applications in wheat have gained popularity over the last couple of years. However, as with any changes in production practices, there are both potential benefits and drawbacks to fall herbicide applications in winter wheat.

Fall-applied herbicide benefits

  • Opportunity to control winter annual broadleaf weeds in no-till wheat. Common chickweed, henbit, horseweed (marestail) and other winter annuals can compete with emerging wheat, especially if wheat was no-tilled into soybean stubble without a burndown herbicide. Fall applications of Huskie or Affinity BroadSpec will provide good to excellent control of many of these winter annual weeds. Note: Affinity BroadSpec will not control Group 2 (ALS) resistant horseweed (marestail).
  • Opportunity to control common windgrass. Common windgrass is a winter annual grass that has become more problematic. Fall applications of PowerFlex HL or Osprey can effectively manage windgrass. Both of these herbicides can also provide good control from spring applications. Applying these herbicides in the fall provides the greatest opportunity to reduce windgrass competition.
  • Opportunity to frost-seed clover. One of the challenges with frost-seeding clover in wheat is all herbicides applied in the spring, with the exception of MCPA, will kill or greatly reduce clover stands. From our research frost-seeded clover has been able to tolerate fall applications of Huskie, Affinity BroadSpec, Clarity, Osprey and PowerFlex HL. Note: On occasion, there has been some slight clover stand reductions from fall-applied Osprey and PowerFlex. Fall-applied Huskie may cause some initial clover bleaching.

Fall-applied herbicide drawbacks

  • Limited window for application. The application window for post-emergence fall herbicides can be fairly narrow. This window is limited by the minimum wheat growth stage for each product (i.e., 1- to 3-leaf) and the weather. Fall herbicide applications can usually be made through mid-November. However, the general rule of thumb is to apply during periods were daily temperatures exceed 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Little to no control of spring emerging winter annuals or summer annual weeds. Many of the herbicides we are using in the fall do not have residual activity to control spring emerging winter annuals (i.e., horseweed) or summer annual weeds, like common lambsquarters and common ragweed. However, good wheat stands can usually outcompete some of these spring emerging weeds.
  • Replant crop flexibility. One potential issue to fall herbicide applications in wheat is what crop can be planted if the wheat crop is lost due to winter damage or other circumstances. Replant crop flexibility will be dependent on the herbicide’s rotational crop intervals. Depending on the herbicide, corn or soybean may not be able to be planted if rotation crop intervals are not met.

Source: Christy Sprague, University of Michigan

Recent News

Fall-applied Herbicides-What Goes Around Comes Around

Fall herbicide treatments have fallen off over the past several years for a couple of reasons, among them the effectiveness of new soybean trait systems for managing marestail, some generally crappy weather in late fall, and efforts to reduce input costs.  We are seeing a resurgence in some weeds, such as dandelion, which respond well […]

New Round of Farm Aid for COVID Losses Announced, and Causes Snag in Congressional Spending Bill

Andrew Restuccia and Jesse Newman reported in Friday’s Wall Street Journal that, “President Trump unveiled $13 billion in new aid to farmers facing economic harm from the coronavirus pandemic as he aimed to boost support among rural voters at a campaign rally. ‘I’m proud to announce that I’m doing even more to support Wisconsin farmers,’ said Mr. Trump, speaking outside […]

Corn Silage Needs Adequate Moisture to Ferment

Early season frost is challenging for corn silage producers, according to Karl Hoppe, Extension livestock systems specialist at NDSU’s Carrington Research Extension Center. Frost makes an abrupt end to the corn-growing season. This begins the dry-down period for the corn plants. “Good corn silage fermentation requires adequate moisture to reduce dry-matter loss and spoilage,” Hoppe […]

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now