Answer from: Matt McGowin, DuPont Crop Protection range and pasture specialist in the mid-South region
Severe lack of moisture and record-setting heat in many parts of the country weakened plants, challenged weed control efforts and amplified plant stress from grazing. The result has been thinner stands of grass that will have a harder time competing with weeds.
Heat and drought stress harden off weeds, so if herbicide was used, uptake and control may have been limited. Compounding the weed control challenge in some areas was a mild winter and early spring, which lengthened the growing season. This got weeds off to a fast start so that they were larger and harder to control by the time many people got out to apply herbicides. In cases of longer growing seasons, there are definite benefits to using herbicides with longer residual activity, such as DuPont™ Cimarron®MAX herbicide.
And producers may have more weed challenges ahead. Hay was often shipped in from greater distances to make up for shortages. Weed seeds in that hay could result in new weed species that will need to watched carefully over the next year or two.
Frequent scouting is an important part of rebuilding pasture and rangeland. Walking pasture acres regularly is essential to check plant health and root development, assess weed threats and identify new weed species. Effective scouting is crucial for making sound management decisions on weed management, fertility and grazing rotations.
Always read and follow all directions and precautions for use.