To Avoid These Post Herbicide Mistakes

On July 18, 2020

To Avoid These Post Herbicide Mistakes

As the growing season rapidly progresses, many are harried, and Extension Weed Specialist Dwight Ligenfelter reports receiving reports about herbicide application mistakes being made. These mistakes can range from lack of weed control to crop injury or even complete death. In the end, these can be costly for various reasons. Keep these things in mind when spraying post herbicides:

First choose the correct nozzles. Contact herbicides such as Liberty, Reflex/Flexstar, Cadet, Cobra, Ultra Blazer, etc. need to be applied through nozzles that produce medium sized droplets. In general, air induction nozzles produce too large of droplets for these types of herbicides. Good spray coverage is critical for effective control. Use higher spray volumes (15-20 gallons per acre or more) for best results.

Next use the necessary and correct adjuvants. Most post herbicides require spray additives to be included in the spray tank for optimal control. Make sure to understand which product(s) should be used whether it be a non-ionic surfactant (NIS), crop oil concentrate (COC), methylated seed oil (MSO), and/or nitrogen fertilizer (AMS or UAN). Read the label or refer to the Agronomy Guide for information on which adjuvants to use. Adjuvants are more critical especially in droughty conditions.

Make sure you are using the correct product. This sounds simplistic, but we are hearing about incorrect products being applied to the wrong crop, e.g., Engenia (dicamba) being applied to Enlist (2,4-D) soybeans. Sometimes this is due to mistaking similar sounding product names; while other times, it is a misunderstanding of what products can be applied to the GM crop. Make sure to know what product can be applied to the crop. Be cautious of these and other possible errors that can happen while spraying herbicides.

To Learn About Water Quality And Management For Well Owners

Pennsylvania is one of the few states that does not regulate private drinking water supplies. As a result, all aspects of managing a private water supply are the homeowner’s voluntary responsibility.
A Penn State Extension webinar series, will help rural homeowners address common water supply management problems. “Approximately 3 million Pennsylvanians — mostly in rural homes and on farms — use a private well, spring or cistern for their drinking water,” said Bryan Swistock, extension water resources specialist. “Penn State research has shown that about 40% of private water supplies fail at least one health-based drinking water standard, and many others suffer from aesthetic water quality issues.”

There is no fee to take part in the weekly webinars, but preregistration is required. The presentations, which will be held from 1 to 2 p.m., include the following:
On July 22nd the topic will be” Roadside and Household Spring Water Issues” will focus on how springs occur and how they differ from drilled water wells. The session will address the prevalence of springs across Pennsylvania and their typical construction when used for household or roadside drinking water supplies. Presenters will explain the common water quality issues in springs and how pollutants can be treated. To register, visit

On July 29 the topic will be ” Nitrates in Private Water Supplies” will explore the sources of nitrates in groundwater, the drinking water standards for nitrates, and the potential health effects of consuming drinking water with high nitrate levels. Results from Penn State studies of groundwater wells will illustrate the prevalence of nitrates across the commonwealth, and experts will discuss water treatment devices capable of removing nitrate. To register, visit

On Aug. 5 the webinar will address ” Water Treatment Processes for Household Drinking Water” and will cover how water treatment devices function, equipment maintenance issues and how to purchase water treatment equipment. Water softeners and sediment filters are the most common devices, but many other treatment technologies are available to remove water contaminants. To register, visit

The final topic on Aug. 12 will be “Ask the Experts About Drinking Water” will give participants the chance to speak with extension experts. Water specialists will answer concerns about contaminants, tastes or odors, treatment systems, where drinking water comes from, bottled water, roadside springs, and similar questions. Questions can be submitted in advance or asked during the webinar. To register, visit

To Properly Time The Second Cutting Of Grass Hay

Pennsylvania has many different production zones, but this year unlike the previous couple years nearly all regions had a dry spell in June. For some it lasted only a week or two and for others it continues.

Extension Agronomist Andrew Frankenfield reports the question that often comes up for discussion is “it doesn’t look very tall, is it worth cutting?” Typically, the answer is yes, especially if you are past 40 days after your last cutting. As the grass matures it is subject to more leaf disease such as brown strip or leaf blotch. As moisture returns the plant will put out new growth but the existing forage will lose its quality. It is recommended to take the cutting, harvest what is there, add some nitrogen for the next cutting and hope you get some rain to get it growing again.

Do not forget about your cutting height, keep it up above 3”, and a 4” stubble is even Penn State Forage Variety Trials at:
and check out the various performance data from alfalfa, grass and annual forages.

Caption: Leaf blotch on second cutting orchard grass. Photo by Dwane Miller

Caption: Mowing a short second cutting grass after a dry period has ended. Photo by Andrew Frankenfield

Quote Of The Week: “I’m saving that rocker for the day when I feel as old as I really am.” Dwight D. Eisenhower