As we start the downhill slope of yet another growing season we are still facing pigweeds. A lot of calls this week deal with rope wicks. Do they work? Will it come back? Did I stop seed production? These are some of the questions that have been asked. Some of the fields I have visited look very good from the road, but when you get out and pull back the cotton or soybean you will see green pigweeds below the canopy.
Rope wicking can slow pigweed down and maybe delay maturity to allow us to get the crop out of the field. However, some of the questions that were asked related to seed production. If you aren’t aware of the capabilities of palmer amaranth check this out. In this particular field, one week after the wick application was made we found that seed production had already taken place. So one might ask: “why waste my time?” Well the typical response is to increase harvest efficiency. My advice to someone with a few patches is to go around those spots with the combine and avoid spreading seed across the rest of the field or even other fields.
Pigweed is here to stay and we must change the way we think and not allow it to set seed regardless of which cropping technology we are using. Remember to control your weeds after harvest to reduce seed production. There are over 15 viable pigweed seeds in the photo below.