With the early spring,wheat and other small grains have headed about 2 weeks early, are shorter in stature, and in some cases the canopy has not closed. In several of these fields I have noticed a large population of weeds threatning to overgrow the canopy in the next few weeks. While our newer combines are pretty efficient in handling some weed pressure, this year may be a time when some farmers need to consider Harvest Aids.The following is a summary from Dr Mark VanGessel,Extension Weed Specialist at the University of Delaware about some choices. "A number of glyphosate products such as Roundup and Touchdown are labeled as harvest aids in winter wheat and barley. Check the label for other formulations of glyphosate. Applications must be made after the hard dough stage and atleast 7 days prior to harvest. Aim is labeled as well, but the spectrum of control is limited to velvetleaf, morningglory,pigweeds, and a few other weeds. Apply atleast 3 days before harvest. Use of 2,4-D (or products containing 2,4-D) is generally not recommended as a harvest aid due to its volatility, and potential damage to the crop during application."
Remember to scout your fields and read the label for rates and other restrictions. With potentially earlier harvest there is a great potential for increased yields from double crop soybeans so consider your total weed control and management program in your decision to use or not use harvest aids.
Zane R. Helsel