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Use Care When Applying Pre-Harvest Herbicides (08/06/20)

With harvest season approaching, farmers should carefully review pre-harvest herbicide applications to ensure compliance with pesticide label directions.

With harvest season approaching, farmers should carefully review pre-harvest herbicide applications to ensure compliance with pesticide label directions.

“Pre-harvest herbicide applications are invaluable for controlling late-emerging weeds,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “However, both crop buyers and consumers may be concerned about even minute levels being present. By carefully reviewing pre-harvest applications to ensure compliance with pesticide label directions, farmers can minimize pesticide residues and preserve the marketability of their crop.”

Complying with pesticide label directions includes:

  • Making sure the herbicide is labeled for the intended crop,
  • Applying no earlier than directed, and
  • Ensuring the pre-harvest interval, or days to harvest requirement, is respected.

“Worldwide, North Dakota has long been known for producing high quality cereal grains,” North Dakota Grain Growers Association President Dennis Haugen said. “One way we can maintain that reputation is through carefully using pre-harvest weed control tools.”

For grains such as hard, red spring wheat, durum and feed barley, most pre-harvest herbicides may be applied when the grain is mature and at about 30% moisture or less. The pre-harvest intervals are variable depending on the herbicide but range from 3-14 days. The label will provide specific directions.

“Buyers of North Dakota’s pulse crops have exacting quality standards,” Northern Pulse Growers Association Executive Director Shannon Berndt said. “To meet these expectations our growers use only registered herbicides and they carefully adhere to label instructions.”

Several different pre-harvest active ingredients may be used on pulse crops, but they all have significantly different timings and pre-harvest intervals. Most pulse crops are grown under contract, so consulting with the buyer about approved herbicides is advised.

The North Dakota State University 2020 North Dakota Weed Control Guide lists active ingredients appropriate for many different crops and contains tips for application. The guide may be found at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/weeds/weed-control-guides/nd-weed-control-guide-1.

For a list of pesticides registered in North Dakota, go to http://www.kellysolutions.com/nd/pesticideindex.asp.

 

Editor’s note:  The above article was adapted from a joint news release by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture, North Dakota State University Extension, North Dakota Grain Growers Association, and Northern Pulse Growers Association.

 

Andrew A. Thostenson

Pesticide Program Specialist

This site is supported in part by the Crop Protection and Pest Management Program [grant no. 2017-70006-27144/accession 1013592] from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed are those of the website author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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