The Importance of Weed Control in CRP

Weed control is critical to successful CRP establishment. Left unchecked, weeds can quickly overtake your CRP planting and cause the establishment to fail altogether. Since CRP land is typically established using no-till planting, it can be especially vulnerable to weeds. 

Creating an herbicide plan is one of the first actions you will need to take once you’ve enrolled in the program. Prior to planting, the land may require two herbicide applications, one in the fall and one in the spring. Between these applications, you may also need to implement a burn plan.  

This might all sound simple enough, but to effectively stop weeds from growing and spreading, you’ll need to be strategic. 

Creating and Applying an Herbicide Plan 

First, you’ll need to identify the weeds that you’ll be dealing with. Different weeds are vulnerable to different types of herbicides. Additionally, you’ll need to consider the native vegetation that you’re establishing. Just like weeds, different plants can be more vulnerable to specific types of herbicides. 

Finally, you’ll need to consider the life cycles of the weeds that you are targeting. You will want to target them during the times when they’re most vulnerable.  

For example, Canada thistle is typically targeted between March and May. This is when the thistle’s rosettes appear. The next target period will be between mid-May and mid-June. This is right before flowering begins.  Since the CRP plants might be actively growing at this point, you’ll likely want to use spot treatment rather than spraying the entire field. 

Because of how resilient Canada thistle can be, it may require a third treatment period. This typically takes place between September and October. At this point, you’ll be directly targeting the root systems in order to prevent the weed from emerging the following year. Make sure this is done before the ground freezes but after the CRP vegetation has gone dormant. 

This is simply an example of what a CRP herbicide plan can look like. Ultimately, you’ll need a plan that’s created for your specific situation. That’s where we can help.  

At FDCE, we provide full-service CRP solutions that take care of seed selection, establishment, herbicide application, documentation, and report submission for cost-share reimbursement. Whether you’re enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program in Iowa or any other state, we can help ensure your CRP establishment is a success. Contact us today to get started!