Kochia Control in Next Year’s Corn and Sorghum Fields

As we are working through fall harvest, be thinking about weed control in next year’s corn and sorghum fields.  This is because we need to plan now to have good kochia control next spring. 
Late fall herbicide applications are very effective in preventing kochia emergence next spring.  And in the case with kochia control, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Preventing kochia emergence is a big part of the battle with controlling herbicide resistant kochia. 
There are several herbicide options for fall applications for kochia control. A common component of several of the tank mixes is atrazine. If residual weed control is desired, atrazine is among the lowest-priced herbicides to provide this. However, if atrazine is used, that will lock the grower into planting corn or sorghum the following spring, or leave the land fallow during the summer and come back to winter wheat in the fall.  If atrazine is applied too early, warm weather and moisture will reduce the length of residual. November is often the best time for atrazine applications.
Atrazine is labeled in Kansas for fall application over wheat stubble or after row crop harvest any time before December 31, as long as the ground isn’t frozen. Consult the atrazine label to comply with maximum rate limits and precautionary statements when applying near wells or surface water. No more than 2.5 lbs per acre of atrazine can be applied in a calendar year on cropland.
There have been several herbicide tank mixes tested at the K-State Research and Extension Center in Tribune, by weed scientist Curtis Thompson. He looked at not only the initial control of kochia, but how long the control lasted through the growing season. 
Here is the list of tank mixes that were tested in 2014-2015: Atrazine (1 lb), Clarity + Atrazine (1 pt+0.75 lb), Atrazine+Sharpen (0.75 lb+2oz), Clarity+Atrazine+Sharpen (1 pt+0.75 lb+2 oz), Scoparia+Atrazine (2 oz+1lb), Corvus+Atrazine (4 oz+1 lb), Clarity+Atrazine+Zidua (1pt+0.75lb+2.5oz), Authority MTZ (12 oz).  All of these treatments provided near 100% control on March 26.  By April 9, all treatments provided greater than 85% kochia control.  And there was greater than 80% control for all treatments by May 28.  Weed control dropped off from May 28 to June 25, with around 50% control at this later date in the growing season.  Of course, moisture is a key component of activating these herbicides and getting satisfactory weed control. 
Charts showing kochia control from these tank mixes are posted on the K-State Sunflower District Agronomy website at www.sunflower.ksu.edu/agronomy.  If you have any questions, please let me know!  You can also see what I am finding in the field on facebook at K-State Sunflower District Agronomy and on twitter @CropsWithJeanne.

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