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This guide discusses preventive, cultural, and chemical weed control in winter wheat. The best weed control is obtained by using a combination of these methods.
Winter and summer annual broadleaf weeds have an important economic impact on Nebraska winter wheat. They compete with winter wheat for water, light, space, and nutrients, reducing Nebraska winter wheat yields by an estimated 10 percent each year. The dollar loss, with wheat at $2.50 per bushel, is over $2.1 million per year. Weeds also slow harvest and increase combine repair costs. Producers may be docked at the elevator for excessive grain moisture and/or weed seeds in wheat.
Success with reduced and no-till programs is improved with weed-free winter wheat stubble after harvest. In addition, weed seeds from the current crop will survive in the soil and cause problems in future crops. These potential problems underscore the importance of broadleaf weed control in winter wheat.
An effective weed control program considers the entire cropping system. This approach involves the use of preventive, cultural, and chemical weed control methods.