We asked experts from two pesticide manufacturers: 2015 was the hottest year on record, continuing a recent trend of warmer weather. Assuming the warm weather continues, what impact will it have on weed control on sports turf? Could more Northern fields begin to see more Southern weeds?
Herbicide Brand Manager
FMC Global Specialty Solutions
“Weeds are extremely efficient at adapting to change. As climate conditions change, there may be weeds commonly found in the South that adapt and thrive in traditionally cooler Northern climates. Turf managers and chemical manufacturers will have to pay careful attention to this trend as chemical options for control may be very limited in these nontraditional environments. Limited chemical options may lead to overuse and little chemical rotation may speed up future resistant populations, creating even more difficulty for control.”
Director of Technical Services T&O
“Weeds are tremendously opportunistic, and changes in weather dictate which weeds are most problematic. With warm and mild winters, the less cold-hardy Southern weeds are moving farther North. Additionally, warmer weather extends the growing season and provides additional time for weed escapes. This improves not only the survival of annual weeds that are dependent upon yearly seed production, but provides perennials with additional time to establish energy reserves in tubers, stolens and rhizomes. Often, this warm-weather trend has associated extremes in rainfall. The heavy rainfall shortens the residual control provided by preemergent herbicides, thus leading to more breakthroughs of late emerging summer annual weeds as well.”