Soil-applied herbicides can knock out a farmer's toughest weeds but the chemical products are no match against soggy fields. A wet early spring has made it difficult for producers to apply soil-applied, or residual, herbicides to their fields ahead of planting. Bill Johnson, Purdue University Extension weed specialist, says don’t push the envelope on herbicide treatments while fields are holding too much water.
"If it's dry enough to plant, it's dry enough to spray," Johnson said. "We don't plant our crops when soil conditions are such that we're dropping the seed into mud, so we don't want to apply our herbicides onto muddy ground, either.
"We run into challenges when we apply to fields that are too wet. One, we're going to leave ruts in the field. Two, all herbicides are labeled such that they cannot be applied to standing water anyway. If we want to get the most out of our soil-applied herbicides, we need to put them on in conditions similar to those in which we would plant the crops."
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