Dealing with herbicide issues when rotating crops

In Southeast Farm Press

It’s a question Alan York gets every year: “I lost a crop, what can I plant there next year?”

For the most part, the question comes from cotton and corn producers, explains York, professor of crop science at North Carolina State University. “The tobacco people are going to reset tobacco, and peanut guys are going to want to plant peanuts, and soybean people are going to replant soybeans,” York says.

Speaking at the North Carolina Agricultural Consultants Association annual convention in Raleigh Dec. 3, York said the big question is: “I lost my corn or my cotton stand, do I replant to that same crop or am I going to plant something else?”

In essence, York advises farmers to replant the same crop if they are concerned about herbicide issues.

The question farmers need to address is what kind of herbicide program is needed after the first crop failed. If the herbicide failed on the first crop, what will be the impact on the crop a farmer wants to replant?

York cites research by Stanley Culpepper, Extension agronomist at the University of Georgia, on the guidelines for replanting cotton behind cotton that received a treatment of the herbicide Warrant. If a farmer strip tills, he needs to wait at least 14 days after the first Warrant application to replant, according to Culpepper’s research. If a grower no-tills, he needs to wait at least 21 days to replant after the first Warrant application, Culpepper’s research shows.

When these guidelines are used, stunting shouldn’t be a problem, York said. If not, severe stunting could be an issue.

“It’s my observation that we have very good tolerance of cotton to Warrant. The exception is when the cotton took 10 days to two weeks to come up; that’s when we get severe stunting,” York said.

The weed scientist explained that stunting may occur because Warrant uses an encapsulated formation where the herbicide is contained in egg shells. “What likely happens is those little egg shells popped opened and released more of the Acetochlor than that little plant could handle. I think that’s where we got the injury. If the cotton comes up quickly like you want it to, I’ve not seen an issue,” York said.

Another question farmers need to consider is the application of additional herbicides after replanting the same crop. York notes that this turns out to be a judgment call in most situations.

Read the rest of the story in Southeast Farm Press.

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