For Italian ryegrass, which has documented herbicide resistance, Eubank says, “The best approach we’ve found is with fall residuals. If you really attack ryegrass with fall residual applications and a timely spring application, you can get rid of it in two years. But many growers say that because of erosion and other problems, they need to work their fields and need a different program.

“In such cases, a good option is a cover crop. I know for many Mid-South growers, this isn’t a very popular subject, because it means more inputs and it requires management during the winter.

“You’ve got to buy seed, and get it planted, and you also need to manage weeds in the cover crop. On the other hand, if you’re putting out a residual in the fall, then a burndown, and then something else at planting — that’s three herbicide applications. So, a cover crop may be a good alternative.

 “Herbicide-resistant and hard-to-control weeds are a serious enough issue that I think a cover crop is going to be an essential part of farm management programs — not just for the benefit of reducing sediment loss, but also to help manage weeds.”

In his research program, Eubank says, “We’ve got fields rowed up on 30-inch beds and planted with a wheat cover crop. I could burn them off tomorrow and plant and those beds would still be in nice shape.”

Henbit continues to cause problems for many growers, he says. “Glyphosate and 2,4-D has been our standard treatment for a long time, but now it probably isn’t the preferred choice. Glyphosate/dicamba has also not been very effective the past few years.

“Henbit can be an expensive problem given the right situation. Your best bet is probably with an ALS inhibitor; something like Canopy EX, LeadOff, or Harmony will do a good job.”

 

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