Control Weeds Early In Spring-Seeded Alfalfa
March 28, 2008
Weeds can easily get a jump start on alfalfa seedings in early spring, robbing them of moisture, nutrients, and light. Uncontrolled, weeds can cause thin stands, weak plants, and lower yields.
Cropping practices that reduce weed seed production during the years prior to planting alfalfa help reduce weeds will pay off when alfalfra is planted. While timely mowing will reduce competition from many weeds, herbicides may become the only option.
If grasses like foxtail or crabgrass are expected to be a problem in seedlingalfalfa, before seeding use a pre-plant incorporated herbicide, like Treflan, Balan, or Eptam. These herbicides control grasses and many small-seeded broadleaf weeds like lambsquarter. Some larger-seeded broadleaves like sunflower will not be controlled, but they can be mowed later for good control.
If you have escapes, post-emergence herbicides like Buctril and 2,4-DB control broadleaves; Poast Plus and Select control grasses; and Raptor or Pursuit control a combination of weeds and can rescue your alfalfa as long as weeds are sprayed before they get very tall.
As you know, always follow label directions for application rates and conditions.
Extension Forage Specialist