Explore the factors to take into consider as you tackle weed management, an important issue after a hurricane.

The recent hurricane activity in Florida can throw a wrench into weed management, according to a UF/IFAS Tip of the Week article. The article maintains that severe weather events like hurricanes are a boon to weeds, as the unwanted plants can “take advantage of the reduced competitiveness of recovering trees.” See the considerations for managing weeds after a severe weather event from the article, below.

Weed Management Post Hurricane

The article advises growers to take the following factors into account when undertaking weed management after a hurricane or other severe weather event:

Intensify Scouting. “A critical step in weed management after hurricanes is to scout groves and note the emergence of new weed species. Storms and floods can potentially wash in weed seeds not found previously in the groves and will cause new weed management problems in the upcoming seasons. Check groves regularly to monitor new weed development, make a field map of these weed locations and use the information toward planning future weed control programs.”

Chemical Weed Control. “Weed pressure in citrus groves may increase after a hurricane due to the reduction in tree canopy and the consequent decrease in shade in tree rows. Consider applying post-emergent herbicide products as early as possible to prevent the existing weeds from maturing and seeding. Seed production will worsen the weed pressure.

If there are continual flushes of weed seed emergence from the soil, pre-emergent herbicides are an option for suppressing germination… Additionally, some herbicide labels caution against using the product if the trees are stressed. Trees recovering from hurricane damage should be considered under stress.”

Herbicide Movement. “Wind and flooding associated with a hurricane can move residues from herbicides sprayed before the storm, resulting in an elevated concentration or “hot spots” of herbicides in some areas in the grove. If any herbicide-related injury symptoms in the trees are found, consider doing soil analysis for herbicide contents in this area…”

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.