Pros and cons to drought as farmers manage weeds in small grain stubble

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Pros and cons to drought as farmers manage weeds in small grain stubble

The drought is having a mixed impact on weed control as farmers finish harvesting small grains.

University of Minnesota Extension crops educator Jared Goplen says dry conditions limited canopy development for spring wheat, oats, and barley.

“There are a number of fields that had weed escapes a little bit worse than normal.”

But he tells Brownfield one positive to a dry growing season, from a weed management perspective, is an early harvest.

“In July, or even early August, most of those broadleaf weeds like waterhemp or lambsquarters haven’t produced any seeds yet. So as soon as you get that crop taken off the field, those weeds are still going to be growing. But thankfully they haven’t produced any seed.”

Goplen says small grain farmers should be able to control those weeds with tillage or herbicides.

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