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Source: Dow AgroSciences news release

Weeds wait for no one, so don't wait to control them.

Weeds fight for nutrients and rob yield from rice fields early in the growing season. Once yield is gone, it's gone for good. Growers can impede weed threats and defend yield potential through the right weed management program.

Consider the following tips when developing a program to keep rice fields clean:

Timing is everything.

Herbicide applications need to be made at the right time to effectively manage weeds and prevent them from robbing yield potential.

Using a pre-flood herbicide that provides residual control can keep rice fields clean at the beginning of the season. Starting the season with clean fields helps manage weeds the entire season, says Drew Ellis, Dow AgroSciences market development specialist for the Midsouth.

"Yield lost to early season weed competition can't be recovered, so a timely pre-flood application is critical," Ellis says. "Using a product with multiple modes of action and residual control can help keep tough weeds like resistant barnyardgrass at bay."

Make every trip count.

The final trip into the field for a pre-flood herbicide application is a crucial time to prevent weeds from emerging post-flood, Ellis says.

"Fields should be as clean as possible going into a flood," Ellis says. "If you miss anything during pre-flood timing, you will have a flooded situation with coverage issues. And as rice gets bigger, weeds become harder to control."

When making the final pre-flood application, keep an eye on crop closure. With crop canopies growing more established closer to post-flood timing, herbicide application coverage can become a greater issue in weed management. It's important to use a high enough volume when making pre- and post-flood applications so the herbicide has adequate contact down in the canopy and can work to its fullest.

"Prevent weeds from getting too large or running away with yield potential by using enough volume to maximize herbicide performance," Ellis says. "The deeper an application of post-flood herbicides can get, the better the weed control will be."

Grasp®Xtra herbicide is a strong tool that has two modes of action and targets tough weeds pre-flood in the CLEARFIELD® Production System and conventional rice systems. It not only controls resistant barnyardgrass but also provides residual control of aquatics and some broadleaf weeds.

Consistently scout fields.

Scouting fields for weeds should be a habit, not an option. Scout fields as often as possible, Ellis says, especially post-flood to manage any weeds missed pre-flood before they become too large to control.

Catching and controlling weeds at the recommended sizes for herbicide applications can happen only if fields are routinely scouted. For example, hemp sesbania is a primary weed that breaks through rice systems post-flood, but it can be managed if caught early enough, Ellis says.

To clean up fields and fill in any coverage gaps post-flood, Grasp SC herbicide and RebelEX® herbicide can be used up to 60 days preharvest. These herbicides offer broad-spectrum control to catch weeds that escape pre-flood applications, including barnyardgrass, annual sedges, palmleaf morningglory, jointvetch, indigo and Palmer pigweed.

For more information on controlling weeds pre-flood and post-flood, visit

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