Farm Talk

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May 8, 2012

When it comes to weed control get started early

Parsons, Kansas — So far, 2012 has been anything but normal in southeast Kansas.

Actually, according to K-State Extension Area Agronomist Doug Shoup, it has been a strange year.

“We had a winter that didn’t get terribly cold, we saw green up in the first of March and basically everything is at least a couple of weeks ahead,” he told producers at the recent K-State Beef Cattle and Forage Crops Field Day in Mound Valley, Kansas. “What that means is that now we are on a plant calendar.”

And, according to the specialist, the plant calendar is early, especially when it comes to weed control.

“Typically we start looking at controlling weeds like multiflora rose and buckbrush around the end of May,” he explained. “This year, however, we need to start now, or about three weeks ahead of schedule.”

The same goes for brambles and blackberries, according to Shoup.

Other brushy species producers need to be thinking about controlling include hedge, locust and sumac.

“We typically think about controlling these species in mid-June when they are full and leafed out,” he said. “This year, however, you probably better start thinking about the last week of May to control woody and broadleaf species.”

Shoup told producers at the field day that when they are preparing to control woody species they can also start thinking about controlling sericea lespedeza.

“We are going to have to start moving our mental calendar up to meet the plant calendar,” Shoup explained.

Moving further into summer, Shoup figures the summer blooming weeds won’t be quite as far ahead of schedule.

“I think the flowering plants will be closer to normal due to day length and sensitivity,” he concluded.

For more information on weed identification and treatment, contact your local Exension office.

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