Kochia (Kochia scoparia), frequently referred to as burning bush, is an invasive weed with a significant threat potential to wheat crops.
Kochia affects wheat in several ways:
Kochia competes aggressively with wheat for essential resources. It can rapidly deplete the soil of nutrients and moisture, leaving less available for the wheat plants. This competition can stunt wheat growth and reduce grain yield.
Kochia can also alter the physiology of wheat plants. The dense canopy formed by Kochia can shade wheat plants, reducing their photosynthetic ability. This can lead to reduced plant vigor and lower grain quality.
Mature Kochia plants can interfere with wheat harvesting. The large, bushy plants can clog machinery, leading to increased harvest time and costs.
This post will outline:
How to identify Kochia
Geographic impact of Kochia
Timing of Kochia
How to manage Kochia in wheat
The first step towards managing Kochia is identifying its presence in your wheat field.
Kochia, a bushy annual weed, can grow up to 7 feet tall. It features a deep taproot and a highly branched stem.
The leaves are small, narrow, and alternate along the stem, with a hairy surface. The green flowers are inconspicuous, appearing in clusters in the leaf axils.
Kochia presence often manifests as patches of wheat that appear stunted or yellowed. As the weed matures, it turns a distinctive reddish color, making it easier to spot in a green wheat field.
Kochia thrives in a wide range of soil types and climates. It has been a persistent problem for wheat farmers worldwide, particularly in North America, Europe, and certain regions of Asia. It is especially common in the Great Plains region of the United States and the Prairie Provinces of Canada.
Kochia is a warm-season weed, typically emerging in the spring and early summer. However, it can continue to germinate throughout the growing season if conditions are favorable.
Early identification and management of this weed are crucial to minimizing its impact on wheat yield and quality. Farmers are encouraged to adopt integrated weed management strategies, including crop rotation, use of certified seed, timely application of herbicides, and regular field scouting to control Kochia effectively.
To manage Kochia in wheat, consider two recommended products:
Post-emergence: Huskie® Herbicide with an application rate of 12 oz per acre, with a range of 11-15 oz per acre.
Post-harvest: Willowood Paraquat 3SL with an application rate of 2 U.S. liquid pints per acre, with a range of 1.3–2.7 pints per acre.
For a post-season or crop-termination option, Willowood Paraquat 3SL, an herbicide that contains Paraquat dichloride, is labeled for use with wheat specifically for managing Kochia. It is available from FBN.
Remember, these rates are general recommendations. Always read and follow the specific instructions on the product label for accurate application rates and guidelines.
Proactively scouting for and responding to weed presence in your fields will help reduce potential crop damage and improve yield. FBN has a wide variety of effective herbicides to help address agronomic pressures and keep your operation on track.
With transparent pricing, straightforward online ordering, detailed product labels and fast direct-to-farm delivery, FBN can help you get the products you need to protect your crops.
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