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Texas farmers battle weeds early in season

In Southwest Farm Press

Since glyphosate-resistant water hemp and Palmer amaranth have been discovered in Texas in recent years, an exceptionally wet fall and winter and now spring season is causing concern that the growing season, while off to a good start, is also prime time for an exceptional uptick in weed problems across wide areas of Texas.

“Given that a single water hemp or Palmer amaranth plant can shed 500,000 to 1 million seed, one weed left in the field is too many,” observed Texas AgriLife specialist and Nueces County agent Jason Ott in his latest weed report.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and Research has conducted numerous field studies to provide recommendations for managing glyphosate resistant weeds now that these populations have become more widespread.

“Often, the most competitive weeds are those that emerge prior to, or at the same time as the crop. These weeds are quite effective at competing for the same consumable environmental resources such as water, nutrients, and sunlight that the crop seedling needs for healthy growth,” Ott said.

It’s particularly important in cotton, which tends to have a slower growth rate as a seedling compared to other crops. Early-season competition is also highly detrimental to sorghum and corn seedlings. If these weeds are not controlled, significant yield losses can be expected.

Read the rest of the story in Southwest Farm Press.

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