4 Tips for Good Pre–planting Herbicide Applications

4 Tips for Good Pre–planting Herbicide Applications

Aaron Bailey

Jan 11, 2022

Summer & pre-plant spray out is an important part of the grain growing cycle. By now, most growers have harvested the majority of their crops and are looking to take the next steps into summer spraying and pre-planting spray programs to help utilise the upcoming planting of their next crop.

There are many factors to consider within this period, those being chemical selection spray timing, quantity of knock down passes and soil fertility to name a few. Managing this time of the cycle is very important in making sure crucial steps are taken to help produce high yields for your next crop.

Controlling weeds is a key component in making this process more profitable in the long run. There are a few key points to consider when working through this process.

Pre-planting tips

Glyphosate is a contact-only herbicide and has no soil or residual activity. In other words, if it doesn’t touch the green tissue of a living plant it is non-effective.

This allows you to spray very close to your planting time to help your crop get a jump start on any weeds.

The ideal timing for spraying can take up to 2 weeks before planting to achieve really good knockdown results, so the time to act is now. 

4 tips for good pre–planting herbicide applications

  • Always read the Label - The information on the herbicide label contains all of the necessary information and identifies what weeds it kills and what the recommended rate is.

  • Spray Early - Spray when grasses or broadleaf weeds are young and thriving. If the field is tall and overgrown, the results will often be less than desirable. If weeds are already tall and mature, mow first and return a few days later to spray the new re-growth even if it is minimal.

  • Don’t Skimp on Water - Many times the correct amount of herbicide is used but not enough water is added to thoroughly spray mix (where necessary, get your water tested).

  • Know Your Coverage Area - Knowing the size of paddocks you are going to be spraying will help you apply the appropriate amount of solution. To practice and calibrate your sprayer, find a paddock and measure it with a GPS to determine the size. Fill your spray tank with just water and take note of the speed you travel and the amount of water you apply over the known area. This will eliminate guesswork and yield better spray results.

Controlling summer weeds

Effective weed control can reduce weed numbers in subsequent years and run down the seedbank. Uncontrolled weeds contribute massively to the soil seedbank, creating increased costs of control and future weed burdens.

This may limit crop choice and reduce flexibility within your program. Summer weed control can be expensive but is necessary to prevent problems with excessive growth and/or moisture and nitrogen loss from the soil. 

When using herbicides
  • Water rates should be kept high (at least 60 litres per hectare).

  • Add a surfactant and/or spraying oil to all post-emergent treatments unless otherwise directed on the label.

  • Do not spray stressed plants.

  • Spray grazing can be effective at high stocking rates.

When it's time to spray out

Consider these factors before going ahead:

  • Always check for susceptible crops in the area, for example broadleaf crops such as grape vines, cotton, vegetables and pulses, if you are using a broadleaf herbicide.

  • Check sensitive areas such as houses, schools, waterways and riverbanks. 

  • Notify neighbours of your spraying intentions.

  • Planning your post-harvest spray program is key to allowing the best opportunity to produce high yielding crops post planting.

Learn more

Please visit fbn.com/en-au/direct to find out more about products available to help your pre-plant spray out.


Source: https://grdc.com.au

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Aaron Bailey

Jan 11, 2022