One of the most prevalent and frankly, annoying, challenges facing farmers throughout the Midwest is the pigweed family. These weeds—particularly the amaranth genus—are notorious for plaguing some of the primary crops agriculturalists plant to make their living, such as soybeans, wheat, and corn.
The growing resistance of these agricultural pests to traditional herbicides has forced farmers to get creative when it comes to weed management. Luckily, with the right tools and resources, you can prevent and manage pigweed growth to ensure a favorable crop yield every season!
Don’t let them emerge.
Weeds develop when soil temperatures fluctuate, so the key is to keep yours consistent. Plant a cover crop to intercept sunlight just enough so that the amaranth can’t emerge, but you’re not cutting off the supply to your actual crops. Most vegetable and row crops will grow through the cover crop, so it won’t affect the quality or quantity of your output.
Intercept seed production.
If you notice pigweed starting to grow in your field, you need to stop it in its tracks. Seed that can’t spread most likely won’t become an issue. You can bury pigweeds down into your soil at a depth of about six inches or more. This deep-tillage will essentially suffocate the weed, preventing it from emerging any further.
There’s also the old, reliable option of hand weeding. As soon as you spot amaranth in your field, thoroughly hoe it by hand and then burn the weeds you pull.
Use an herbicide program.
While some pigweeds have developed a metabolic resistance to common herbicides, a regimen involving multiple products can still be effective. Combine several different herbicides to combat and prevent further resistance in your taller pigweeds.
Some experts recommend applying a mixture of glyphosate and glufosinate, leaving it for a few days to a week, and then applying just the glufosinate again. Be sure to start your herbicide program early in the season and use full herbicide rates for optimal protection.
Overcoming the obstacles of agriculture doesn’t have to be stressful if you arm yourself with the right knowledge and equipment. L & M Manufacturing carries a wide range of products to meet the needs of farmers and companies throughout the country. Contact us today to learn more about how our equipment can provide you and your crops with the solutions you need!