A sizeable wheat crop is presently up and growing in Mississippi. If you have wheat planted in one of the seven counties listed above, be mindful of your weed pressure. There is a good possibility that if you have Italian ryegrass, you may not be able to control it with Hoelon, Osprey, or PowerFlex. If this is the case, then the only remaining postemergence herbicide option at your disposal is Axial XL, and it may only be applied once per crop season.

In addition, if you have wheat, and are outside the above counties, do not assume the Italian ryegrass in your fields is not resistant to these herbicides.

In my wheat trials at Stoneville, I have produced excellent wheat yields when using a single application of Axial XL at spring green up. However, I rarely achieve 100 percent Italian ryegrass control with Axial XL applied in the spring.

The surviving Italian ryegrass plants produce seed that can be spread by the combine. These plants may not produce 45,000 seed growing in competition with wheat and following a herbicide application, but the seed that are produced will be there next year and will have to be managed at that time, either in wheat or during burndown.

So, Italian ryegrass plants not controlled in wheat contribute to a vicious cycle that must be broken in order to get ahead of this problem.

Herbicide resistance is on everyone’s mind. In areas with severe infestations of Palmer amaranth and Italian ryegrass, it is a never-ending grind because the growing seasons for these weeds only slightly overlap. Just because Italian ryegrass does not emerge and grow at the same time as row crops does not lessen its impact.

Be attentive. Scout for Italian ryegrass. We still have some effective herbicides to manage this weed in the burndown arena if they are used correctly in a program.

Our weed science group at Mississippi State has developed a one-page document listing programs for managing glyphosate-resistant Italian ryegrass during burndown (http://msucares.com/crops/weeds/index.html). If you have any questions about these programs, feel free to contact me at (662) 820-7794.