Home 5 Ag Stories Identifying what is what when it comes to weeds

Identifying what is what when it comes to weeds

ISU Weed Specialist Bob Hartzler discusses weed identification with beginning crop scouts Tuesday May 17, 2016. Photo: Ben Nuelle

by Ben Nuelle

The 2016 growing season has begun which means weed problems will soon arise. Identifying what is what when it comes to weeds is so important in saving you money. Dr. Bob Hartzler is a Weed Specialist at Iowa State University.

He says if you don’t know what weed you have it is impossible to come up with a control tactic.

“Usually the first thing do is figure out if you are dealing with grasses, broadleaves, perennials, or annuals. The simple thing about weed identification is very few plants are adapted to survive in a crop field. It makes it relatively easy for agronomists to learn what their enemy is.”

Hartzler says most grasses are somewhat similar in response to herbicides but they do vary.

“Timing of application is going to be more critical with certain species. I like to use the example of yellow foxtail. It is more tolerant to post-emergence applications and so if you have a field with a lot of yellow foxtail, it is going to take better management than if you are dealing with something like giant foxtail.”

He adds there are differences and it is important to know what you are going after.