Finally wrapping up harvest? Once it’s completed, you might start thinking of what needs to be done for next year. Weed management is a task to think about any time. Richard Zollinger, extension weed scientist at North Dakota State University recommends four after-harvest weed-management practices you can do now that will give you a head start on next spring’s planting.
- Mapping and scouting your fields. When the field is bare, you can see the patches, or hot spots, of weeds that have grown since you removed the crop canopy at harvest. This is a perfect time to scout and map your fields so you know where the problem spots lie come spring.
- Herbicide application. Herbicides can be used after harvest to remove any weeds that have appeared after the removal of the crop. This will minimize the number of weeds growing in the spring, making planting easier.
- Planting a cover crop. Cover crops can be a very useful tool if you are looking for a non-chemical alternative to manage weeds.
- Tillage. Tillage can kill weeds and prevent seed production. Clean fields in the fall and spring will reduce the number of weeds that emerge in the spring, allowing for more effective weed management practices the following year.