Weed scouting is easily the most time consuming component of all the services we offer. Timing is critical in weed control and good spraying days are a luxury that cannot be bought. A solid weed scouting service will provide the foundation for an effective herbicide application.
Identification, severity, and staging are the primary components recorded in a weed scouting program. However, this battle is rarely "what you see is what you get." More information is required to make a good service the best it can be.
Proper Scouting of Weeds Includes Follow-up, Follow-up, Follow-up
Normally we would consider weed scouting as the process of checking fields for weeds and collecting information in order to make an accurate, cost-effective, herbicide application choice. This is vitally important and a bad decision initially will insure a wreck quite consistently. Wrecks are costly mistakes.
However, the wrecks that occur are not always due to poor scouting, poor application, or poor timing. Weeds are fighters, and they will always be trying to survive.
This picture is an example of a patch of wild oats that has survived the herbicide application. Although the patch is very small, the problem it brings to the field is anything but small. These wild oats are giants, and spreading them within the field or to other fields will provide obvious problems.
This close-up illustrates the difference between the 99% of the wild oats in this field that were controlled and the small patch that was not. The 2 plants on the right show typical symptoms of control provided by a group 1 wild oat product. The 2 plants on the left show no symptoms.
Samples of seed were submitted to the SAFRR Crop Protection Laboratory and were confirmed to have a high level of resistance to the group 1 product applied.
Resistance is nothing new, but resistance is growing. Without follow-up, this patch of wild oats growing in the middle of a field would have been missed. In most cases, wild oat resistance is not really viewed as a problem until the problem is out of control.
Resistance isn't always the survival mechanism that is causing the problem but it is one of the more serious problems that will emerge in the future.
A solid weed scouting program should include monitoring and follow-up, follow-up, follow-up.