Weed management is a critical piece of citrus pest management programs and plays a key role in a successful harvest. According to the University of Florida IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center, more than 100 species of weeds commonly occur in Florida citrus groves and, if left uncontrolled, can cause yield losses of 23 percent to 33 percent.
With the development of herbicide resistance, controlling weeds has become increasingly difficult. Although resistance is rising, there are proven best practices that citrus growers can incorporate into their weed management routine to maximize efficacy and prevent resistance.
- 1. Consider preventive options
Preventive programs are effective in slowing the potential spread of weeds before a widespread issue. Pre-emergent weed control often allows for greater flexibility in post-emergence treatment and reduces early-season competition between weeds and citrus trees by preventing weed growth.
2. Implement an integrated weed management program
Creating a weed management program that uses multiple herbicide modes of action is key in preventing resistance in groves. Adhering to chemistry rotation recommendations will allow effective chemistries to maintain their efficacy and control critical weeds for a longer period of time.
3. Use the right materials at the right rate
Growers must consider appropriate herbicide application periods, rates and rotation for the most effective weed control. Using the full recommended rate and proper application timing will allow for the most effective herbicide control for targeted weeds.
4. Practice thorough monitoring throughout the season
Monitor groves after herbicide applications to confirm desired control has been accomplished and continue scouting for issues in the field throughout the season to stay on top of any potential weed development.
5. Incorporate post-emergence burn-down herbicides with pre-emergence herbicides
Apply post-emergence burn down solutions as a part of a comprehensive approach to weed management. This application can help control already-emerged and germinated weeds that pre-emergence herbicides may miss and aid in reducing soil cover to improve pre-emergence herbicide efficacy.
Always read and follow label instructions and consult local extension recommendations. For more information on weed management and pre-emergent control, please visit www.bayercropscience.us/products/herbicides/alion .
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