A Danger to Your Crops | VideoRene Thibault | 1/17/2013
Growers and producers came together today at the North Central Research Extension Center to talk about problems the plant can cause. “Kochia starts out like a real small plant, but essentially, if it goes uncontrolled it`s going to be a Christmas Tree. It`s going to impact yield, its going to impact if a guy can go through with his combine or not, and it`s definitely going to be a big impact weed if we can`t control it”, added Jenks.
The annually-growing plant has deep roots and can grow to be five feet tall. Kochia is a strong competitor for light, moisture and other soil nutrients the crops need. “Weeds are obviously a competitor for the crops we`re growing, so if you have a wheat plant and a weed, these weeds will out-compete the crop we`re trying to grow,” stated Research Agronomist Eric Eriksmoen.
But there are ways to combat the problem. Finding an effective herbicide rotation can keep the weed growth in check. Soil herbicides for example, are absorbed through the roots of the weed, which then kill the plant while the crops are able to break down the specific compound.
There are risks of over-using the chemicals. “Be cautious, be careful with our herbicide use, be smart. Make sure you rotate your herbicides like you rotate your crops, lets preserve these tools that we have”, added Eriksmoen.
Being prepared and acting before there is a problem are the two most important things producers can do to combat possible weed problems, and can lead to successful growing seasons. Ward County producers can pick up a 2013 North Dakota Weed Control Guide at the North Central Research Center, south of Minot.