Fall Burndown Improves Spring Options

Oct 10, 2022

Fall burndown sets the stage for weed control next spring
Sod and old alfalfa stands, dandelions and broadleaves, and tough grasses call for fall burndown to improve planting conditions and weed control next year.
“Fall is an excellent time to control biennial and perennial weeds before they overwinter and become more difficult to manage,” said Ryan Peterson, Federated’s custom application manager.
Favorable fall temperatures make it a good time to deal with troublesome weeds because herbicides work best while the weeds are still growing. “In general, the warmer the better, with daytime high temperatures in the mid-50s at a minimum,” he said. (Too-cool temps reduce the effectiveness of herbicide applications.)
Fall burndown to control perennials gives the systemic herbicides time to move into the weeds’ root systems. “In general, the burndown window runs from early September through October,” said Peterson. That is, now. And the best products are glyphosate for grasses and broadleaves, or 2,4-D or dicamba for broadleaves alone.
Peterson offered a few extra notes on fall burndown:
  • Dandelions emerge in both fall and spring, but fall is the best time to control them.
  • Biennials are much more susceptible to herbicides when in the rosette stage.
  • Broadleaves in pastures – and lawns – are best controlled in the fall.
  • Glyphosate is better at controlling [unwanted] alfalfa in the fall, or tillage will be required; effective burndown is unlikely in the spring.
Don’t let the fall window for spring weed control close on you. Schedule your burndown applications now. Talk to your Federated Agronomist with any questions. “And have a safe harvest,” Peterson added.

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