Fall Weed Control in Wheat and Barley

Remember to keep weeds in check this fall in your small grains.
Fall Weed Control in Wheat and Barley - Articles
Fall Weed Control in Wheat and Barley

Mary Burrows, Montana State University, Bugwood.org

Dense populations of winter annual weeds can compete with wheat and barley in late fall and early spring and slow the rate of crop development potentially reducing yield. If winter annual weeds like common chickweed, henbit, winter annual grasses, and others emerge with the small grain and are left unchecked, the potential impact on yield could be great. In these situations, it may make sense to kill these weeds in the fall rather than early spring. Harmony Extra is the most broad spectrum herbicide for broadleaf control, but resistant populations of common chickweed are becoming evident in parts of the state. In addition, there are several herbicides labeled for grass control in wheat and fall is typically the best time to make an application. Make sure to include the necessary spray adjuvants. Remember that cool (less than 50 F) cloudy days can reduce herbicide activity. Also, if you plan to frost-seed or drill a companion crop such as red clover in early spring it may be best to make a fall herbicide application to avoid certain issues with herbicide residuals affecting their establishment. However, even if products such as PowerFlex HL, Osprey, Glory and others are applied in the fall, their recrop restrictions still prevent seeding next spring. The following table summarizes some fall herbicide options for small grains. Check a current herbicide label for the latest use information.

Common Fall Herbicide Options for Small Grains
HerbicideCropsStrengthsGrowth stageRemarks, if any
2,4-DWheat, barley, ryeHorseweed, mustards, dandelion3-6
Axial XLWheat, barleyAnnual/Italian ryegrass2-8No control of ACCase-resistant species
Banvel/ClarityWheat, barleyHorseweed, thistles3-6
GloryWheat, barleyALS-resistant chickweed,1-4Controls winter annual broadleaves
Harmony ExtraWheat, barleyMost broadleaves, garlic1-7Will not control ALS-resistant chickweed
HuskieWheat, barley, triticaleMost broadleaves1-7Has some activity on marestail/horseweed
MCPAWheat, barley, ryeSame as 2,4-D3-6
BuctrilWheat, barley, ryeMustards1-9
PeakWheat, barley, rye, triticaleMustards, garlic2-6Watch recrop restrictions
PowerFlex HLWheatDowny brome, cheat, annual/Italian ryegrassControls some broadleaves; will not control ALS-resistant chickweed
Starane UltraWheat, barleyChickweed (including ALS-resistant)2-9
StingerWheat, barleyThistles2-9Watch recrop restrictions
OspreyWheatAnnual/Italian ryegrass, annual bluegrass1-5Controls some broadleaves
MaverickWheatDowny brome, cheat, chess1-5Controls some broadleaves, watch recrop restrictions


William S. Curran, Ph.D.