In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, winter annual weeds can present a significant issue for farmers if not properly addressed early in the growing cycle. Preventative measures in fall and winter can provide a noticeable benefit once temperatures warm up in the spring.
“During the dormant time of year, it’s important that we put on preemergent herbicides,” said Tino Lopez, Valent Field Market Research Representative. “The winter annual weeds can become – by the time spring comes around – can become pretty good-sized weeds and rob our trees of a lot of the nutrition and vigor.”
This fall has been noticeably drier than the past few years, where areas of California experienced at least a few days of rainfall by the middle of November. The lack of any significant rain events has created some pause for growers in implementing their preventative herbicide programs. “Ideally, in a perfect world, we could wait for a rain event and put on the herbicide either right before or right after; that would be great. But if you have a lot of acreage to cover, I think getting on your herbicide as soon as you possibly can is very important,” said Lopez.
The importance of winter weed control programs may not become apparent until spring when growers are forced to play catch-up on established weeds. The absence of a proactive approach towards weed control can create additional costs come springtime, both in terms of material and labor. Significant weed pressure can also impact tree growth.
“The timing of early weed control, or early preemergent weed control, is critical because so many of these weeds develop very, very strong reserves in their root system,” said Lopez. “By the time you see them on top of the soil, they’ve got enough reserve in that taproot that putting on an herbicide is not always as efficient.”
Listen to the report below.