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Termination

Timing of application is critical for contact and systemic chemicals alike:

  • Only spray when plants are actively growing. Late morning through mid-afternoon is ideal to allow enough time for systemic chemicals to be absorbed.
  • Utilize a surfactant to help chemicals stick to plant leaf surfaces.
  • Always read the label of the herbicide to make sure you’re making a sound decision and consult with a chemical representative.

Herbicide Alternatives

Please be aware that species selection is critical when trying to utilize these alternative termination methods.

Rolling/Crimping/Mowing

Physically rolling over the biomass and crimping the stalks or mowing can very successfully terminate a cover. It’s critical that the plants have reached a flowering reproductive stage. If not, the plants have the potential to regrow.

Grazing

Utilizing high-density grazing allows livestock to trample and consume a stand of forage to the point of termination. The goal is to graze 50% of the biomass and trample 50% into the ground to equally feed the soil and the livestock for a prolonged healthy sustainability. This is a high-management system and must be done properly for best results.

Winterkill

Allowing Mother Nature to terminate the cover can be a viable and consistent option for northern producers. The historic first-frost date is critical when utilizing this method because it allows the cover crop designer insight into the remaining window for cover crop growth. Many cool season species will withstand this first frost and continue to grow until sustained cold weather sets in. An abnormally warm fall with late frost can potentially lead to some species seeding out prior to frost termination.