Pre-Emerge Herbicides Take on the Competition

Jan 10, 2023

pre-emerge herbicides take on weed competition
“If you want your field to be clean, without competition,” said Don Lamker, Federated ag sales rep for the Osceola and Rush City locations, “you have to start clean and finish clean.”
Pre-emerge herbicides, properly timed, will “put down a barrier in the shallow soil.” Weeds that try to germinate and penetrate that barrier won’t survive, thereby reducing weed competition as the crop germinates and gets established.
Once the crop is firmly rooted and growing, the pre-emerge herbicide fades out – and then it’s time for a post-emerge herbicide. Together, the pre- and post-emerge herbicides give the crop its best chance to flourish with less weed pressure.
Lamker noted that the “other thing to keep in mind is that pre-emerge herbicides are good on annual weeds,” the ones that haven’t germinated yet. Perennials won’t be affected by pre-emerge herbicides (e.g., nutsedge, quack grass, or barnyard grass).
Federated highly recommends Palace™ as an effective pre-emerge option to keep weeds from choking out the young crop. “Palace offers residual, and long-term control as a pre,” said Lamker. It is a combination of Callisto® (mesotrione) and Dual II Magnum® (S-Metolachlor), which means it offers two modes of action.
  • For pre-emerge, Palace rates range from 2-2.4 qt./ac., with the heavier rate on soils with >3% organic matter.  
Pre-emerge herbicide application is all about timing. “You have to plan on it,” said Lamker. While weather and field demands come into play, growers who plan to apply pre-emerge herbicides, typically do get their pre-emerge herbicides applied on time. Of course, Federated Co-ops is available for custom application that fits your schedule (but call ahead!).
Palace provides control of waterhemp and palmer amaranth, two very challenging weeds. It is a simple pre-mix option that gives broad spectrum control, but there are other good pre-emerge herbicides as well. Your Federated Agronomist will gladly discuss the options with you.
If a totally post-emerge herbicide program fits your needs better, talk to your Federated Agronomist about that, too. Either way, said Lamker, “the days of getting by with one-pass control are gone.” It’s either a pre-emerge and post-emerge in combination, or two post-emerge applications to keep weeds under control.

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If you see four-inch weeds when you scout fields in the next few weeks, your window to control them is closing fast! It's time for post-emerge herbicide applications.

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