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Cultural practices can improve the weed competitiveness of winter wheat in an ecofallow program, thus increasing the effectiveness of herbicides.
Ecofarming is a popular conservation tillage practice used in Nebraska areas where winter wheat is produced. It requires a high degree of management, but the rewards through higher crop yields and erosion protection are worth the effort. In Nebraska the winter wheat-fallow rotation is the common rotation used in areas of less than 17 inches of rainfall, while in areas that receive 17 to 22 inches the winter wheat-corn or sorghum fallow rotation is most common. In 1988, 41 percent of the available wheat stubble fields in west central and southwest Nebraska and 11 percent in the Panhandle were sprayed with a herbicide after wheat harvest.
In 1986 a field survey was taken one to two months after herbicides were applied after winter wheat harvest. Results indicated that many cultural practices greatly influenced weed control in the winter wheat stubble. The purpose of this NebGuide is to explain how some of these cultural practices can be used by farmers to improve the weed competitiveness of their winter wheat. Hence, when herbicides are used their effectiveness is increased.