Cultivation and Postemergence Herbicide Treatment

Mark VanGessel, Extension Weed Specialist;

Questions have come in about whether to cultivate first or spray first for weed control. Keep a few things in mind. Weeds are easier to control when they are small but consider which option is going to be more effective when weeds get larger. Cultivation will control the weeds between the rows but not in the row. Those weeds in the row are the ones you need to base your decision on whether to spray first. More often than not, it is better to spray first then cultivate. In addition, weeds not completely killed with cultivation are more difficult to control with herbicides. **Note this assumes that the herbicide is the right herbicide for the weed(s) in your field. The weeds that emerge after cultivation are going to be much smaller and have less impact on yield (in any impact at all). Setting your cultivator so it runs only 1 to 2 inches deep will slice through the weeds and not disrupt the herbicide layer from you preemergence herbicides. This in turn will limit the number of weeds that will emerge due to cultivation. It is recommended to wait a minimum of 5 to 7 days between herbicide treatment and cultivation.


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