Reducing Weed Seed Production in Harvested Fields

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

Corn harvest has begun in some areas and the drought has resulted in large areas with stunted plants and very poor leaf development for shading weeds. Both of these situations have created conditions for late season weed growth that could result in significant weed seed production. I believe this is one of the reasons why plants like Texas panicum have become such a big problem in some areas.

The earlier these plants are destroyed, the fewer number of seeds will be produced. The longer weeds are allowed to grow and develop after harvest (or after the decision to not harvest those fields severely impacted by drought) the more likely the weeds are to regrow and eventually produce seed. Disking or non-selective herbicides are options to prevent seed production as well as mowing. Many of these early harvested fields will need at least two mowings to prevent seed production.

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