Almond Matters: Addressing Marestail and Fleabane in Orchards

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In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, growers will likely have made their applications to get in front of marestail and fleabane at this point in the season. Both weeds require moisture for germination and a good preemergent approach can go a long way in preventing significant weed pressures later in the season. Field Market Development Specialist with Valent USA, Todd Burkdoll explains that early action is highly recommended for these two weeds in particular.

marestail and fleabane

“Once they reach past the rosette stage it’s very hard to control both of them. Getting them before they show the whites of their eyes literally, in the seedling stage, with a preventative herbicide program is probably the best plan of attack,” said Burkdoll. “We had a couple inches of rain back in October and that was enough for germination. So right now, you’ve probably already got marestail and fleabane germinating. In fact, I know you do, I saw some yesterday.”

Growers typically make applications of preemergent materials sometime in the fall before Thanksgiving, to provide protection against weeds getting established.  With weeds already coming up as a result of some of those early rains, Burkdoll notes that an action plan may need both a pre- and postemergent. Several factors will need to be considered, such as the type of weed spectrum a grower might be dealing with and what the history may be in that particular orchard. Consideration should also be given to material selection to ensure a rotation of chemistries. Burkdoll also recommends coming back for an additional application to really provide effective control of marestail and fleabane.

“I would suggest going on now and then coming come back in the spring before bloom and putting on another shot as a spoon-feed application,” Burkdoll explains. “Come back in early February before bloom and putting on another application as a booster basically to keep that level of concentration of preemergent herbicide in the soil at an optimum.”

Listen to the report below.