One of the warmest winters on record in the Upper Southeast played havoc with virtually every crop grown in the region, and often not in ways clearly visible to growers or understandable to the experts.

Such is the case this year with a virtual explosion of horseweed and other weeds not usually considered to be too hard to manage.

North Carolina State University Weed Scientist Wes Everman says he has gotten more calls about difficult to manage horseweeds this year than he has gotten concerning Palmer amaranth.

For sure glyphosate resistant horseweed, sometimes called marestail, can be a big problem, but there are a number of options for control, and some of these options just didn’t seem to work as well as expected this year, Everman says.

Some combination of glyphosate, 2,4-D and Valor have done a good job of controlling horseweed for the past couple of years. The biggest problems seem to occur when the weeds are sprayed late and get too big to manage, he notes.

“This year, even when we timed herbicide applications right, some of them didn’t seem quite right. Speaking at a recent field day, the North Carolina State weed scientist said, “I was there when we sprayed it, I did the mixing and the spraying and I put it all out there. I know I wasn’t wrong.”

“This year, with the warm winter, weeds had a chance to grow during time they are usually dormant. Even if growth was evident above the ground, these weeds were putting on roots and generally surviving the winter months much more efficiently than usual,” Everman adds.