Growers will do about anything to control resistant palmer amaranth in the MidSouth region where Matt Wiggins works as a tech service manager for FMC. And while cover crops have been traditionally considered a method of erosion control, FMC has done a lot of work on understanding how they prevent weeds as well.
They’re effective because they create a layer of mulch, preventing weeds from coming through, Wiggins explains. Even though he still feels like there is a lot to learn, they do know a winter annual cover cop of cereal rye or winter wheat planted after harvest and terminated a few weeks before spring planting adds bio mass necessary to make a big difference handling those resistant weed problems. Cover crops also work together with an herbicide program, Wiggins says. Neither should be a stand-alone management.
As a bonus, cover crops are multifunctional on the farm.
“There are other benefits. The primary one we think about with cover crops is erosion prevention and soil health. Other things guys are not thinking so much about are things like weed control and also water conservation and nutrient reduction strategies and things like to that to help capture nutrients that we put in the soil and prevent them from getting into waterways. So there are a lot of other benefits other than just weed control that cover crops can benefit our growers.”
FMC has several solutions for growers wanting to take advantage of what cover crops can offer. Their Authority MTZ and Authority Elite offer a great pre-emergence burn down for starting the growing season off right, and they offer in-furrow protection products against the insects that seem to go hand-in-hand with cover crops.
Learn more about FMC and their cover crop approach by stopping by their booth at Commodity Classic or Mid-South Farm and Gin Show next week or listen to Chuck’s interview here: Interview with Matt Wiggins, FMC