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Small Grain Pre-Harvest Options

Updated July 22, 2019

Gared Shaffer

SDSU Extension Weeds Field Specialist

Consider pre-harvest herbicide applications in crop ground planted with small grains that are grown for seed or forage. Dense weed populations may inhibit harvest, therefore proper control of them early in the growing season is best. Spring is the most-effective control period for annual weeds. Herbicides may be applied to desiccate and suppress weed escapes. When considering what herbicides to desiccate weeds with prior to harvest the greatest risk for yield reduction occurs 5 to 7 days before heading until 7 to 10 days after heading, including pollination and kernel development.

Basic Pre-Harvest Tips

  • Use effective early season weed control tactics and products.
  • Scout often, spraying within 10 days of bloom prevents weed seed production.
  • Increase spray volume to 15 gal/acre or more.
  • Spot treatment can be a useful tool
  • Hand rouging or clipping of perennial weeds may be effective.

For South Dakota small grain pre-harvest recommendations, view the publication, “Harvest Aid Weed Control in Small Grain.”