Water is Needed to “Activate” Soil-Applied Herbicides

Mark VanGessel, Extension Weed Specialist; mjv@udel.edu

Herbicides applied to the soil surface require rainfall or irrigation to move them into the soil where the plants will absorb them; or to be mechanically incorporated (field cultivator). Some areas have not received much rainfall since the herbicides were applied. Some products, like atrazine or mesotrione, may be taken up by the roots and provide some control. But Dual, Harness, and Prowl all need to be absorbed by emerging shoots, so they will not control weeds once they emerge. If you have irrigation and your corn herbicides have been applied but you have not received rain, you should consider irrigating to activate those herbicides.


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