Plan for herbicide carryover if dryness continues in 2024

A weed specialist with University of Missouri Extension says farmers should be mindful of the impacts persistent dry conditions have on crops in the next growing season.

Kevin Bradley says herbicide carryover can injure crops early. He says it’s noticeable when farmers apply herbicides with the ingredient mesotrione in a dry growing season and plant soybeans in the same field the next spring.

“Usually they’ll grow out of it, but it depends on the severity. It can stunt and discolor the crop, but it depends on how bad the situation.”

He says the effects of herbicide carryover are difficult to control, but awareness makes a big difference.

“Look at the rainfall data in your area. Think about if you made herbicide applications late in the season in 2023, because if you did, they’re more at risk for injuring the crop you’ll plant in 2024.”

And Bradley says there’s a way to confirm there’s herbicide carryover in a field.

“In the spring, maybe three weeks before you start planting, go gather soil from different parts of the fields you’re concerned about and put it in a container,” he says. “Plant some soybean seed in it under a window and let it come up before you plant. If whatever comes up in that soil has weird looking symptoms, yellow and white, that’s a good indication you’re going to have problems.”

If farmers can confirm herbicide carryover ahead of planting, Bradley says better decisions can be made on what to plant in that field.

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