In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, growers still have an opportunity to get good weed control with bloom around the corner. Preventative control measures such as preemergent herbicides help growers avoid repeated applications later in the season. The dry weather conditions in fall and winter have made it difficult for growers to time their applications.
“Some guys had waited to put on a preemergent herbicide for weed control during the winter expecting more rain would come. Typically, you want to get that on before the rain and because there was no rain they kept holding off on the application,” said Field Market Development Specialist for Valent USA, Todd Burkdoll. “This coming storm event should be probably the last chance before we see bud break and bloom coming up here in mid-February. So, it’s a good opportunity to put down a preemergent before that rain comes.”
Rainfall basically pushes the preemergent material into the soil to create a barrier to prevent weed germination. Getting good coverage is essential for achieving the most weed control possible. Making slow, deliberate applications in orchards helps ensure adequate coverage. Burkdoll explained that he has been fielding quite a few questions from growers preparing their spring applications. “As far as tank mixes go there are several options out there. The use of Chateau as a preemergent has got a history of being very efficacious going back several years,” Burkdoll noted.
It can be easier to make applications for weed control prior to bud break as it gives growers more options for material selection. When mixing preemergents with a burndown material, Burkdoll recommends getting those applications made when the trees are still dormant. Growers will want to consider a materials’ volatility when thinking about applications after the trees come out of dormancy. “You do not want to use those after the trees have started to leaf out or even before bud break, at the bud swell period. You run the risk of getting that product, that chemistry, into the trees and then causing problems later on,” said Burkdoll.
Listen to the report below.