Weeds have a head start this spring

A weed scientist says the mild winter has given problem weeds a big head start. 

Rodrigo Werle with the University of Wisconsin says, “Giant ragweed just started emerging last week at our research farm near Janesville.” He tells Brownfield he’s talked to several farmers and consultants who had sprayers rolling over the weekend. “Very favorable weather. We had warmer night temperatures which helps with burndown chemical weed control, and then we also have a good chance of rain coming up this week here, which is going to hopefully help activate some of the residual herbicide, so this was a good weekend.”

Werle says the winter annual weeds had a big head start, so farmers should be scouting fields, and for no-till acres, it’s time to apply burn-down chemicals. “Whether it is your chickweeds or horseweeds, dandelions out there, those weeds, they have taken advantage of the mild winter and they’ve had a good start, I mean, they’re up and going already. As a matter of fact, the chickweeds out there are flowering.”

Werle says the last couple of winters have been mild, allowing farmers to spray and plant earlier than usual.

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