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Planning your spring burndown application

Focus on timing and temperatures for higher efficiency.

It may still be a little chilly outside to feel like spring, but planting season will be here soon, and it is that time of year to get in your spring burndown herbicide application. Burndowns can prove especially helpful to no-till farmers who are trying to control weeds before planting season starts. To make the most out of your spring burndown, you will need to consider both timing and weather as factors.

Watch your weather forecast

Before making your burndown herbicide application, check out the weather forecast and look for impending cold temperatures. Colder temperatures can slow down the effectiveness of the herbicide on weed control.

In a trial at Michigan State University, which tested the influence of temperature on the effectiveness of burndown applications, it was determined that the two chemicals tested were more effective at controlling the weed henbit if applied during warmer temperatures.

source: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/temperature_effects_on_burndown_herbicide_applications

In this trial, weed control was significantly increased by warmer temperatures; however, it was also noted that burndown applications were less affected by temperature when the burndown herbicide was mixed with a soil-applied herbicide.

Prior to making your spring burndown application, you should consider which chemicals you are using and how temperatures may affect their effectiveness.

Time your application

Just like every other spray application you will apply throughout the growing season, the timing for your spring burndown is essential to its level of efficiency. A delayed burndown application can reduce yields by inhibiting plant emergence and growth. Additionally, late applications can allow weeds to grow larger and tougher, making them more difficult to control.

According to another trial at Michigan State University, preplant burndown applications made at least seven days prior to planting, provided excellent control of most weeds present. Their results showed greater yields in soybean fields when burndown applications were made seven days before planting.

source: http://www.msuweeds.com/assets/ArticlePDFs/2011Dontskipburndownapplications.pdf

For more burndown application information about specific chemicals, their effectiveness rating and application information, check out this guide from Purdue University.