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Vegetable IPM Updates Archive
Cooperative Extension
Sudan Grass (June 8, 2016)
Weeds are a problem year after year even where they have been diligently controlled. A major reason for this is that weed seeds continually move into fields by irrigation water, wind, equipment, contaminated seed and other means. Controlling weeds on irrigation ditch banks can greatly help to reduce weed seed movement into fields. The EPA regards non-crop areas as those that are not dedicated to crop production. Although crops are not normally grown on irrigation ditch banks, these areas should not be managed as non-crop. Several very broad spectrum and long lasting herbicides are registered for non-crop areas which include roadsides, industrial sites, fence rows, around structures, railroads etc.. Irrigation ditch banks should be considered separately because of their proximity to crop fields and irrigation water and the potential for herbicide movement into sensitive areas. It is important to read herbicide labels carefully and only use those products that are specifically allowed for use on ditch banks. Some products are restricted to drainage ditch banks or dry ditches. Some can be used only above the water line and some can only be used for non-irrigation ditch banks. Because most ditches here are used for irrigation, this can be confusing. The definition of a ditch ,however, can include an open trench or natural channel. It can also include ditches that are not in use for long periods of time. Some labels specify how long this non-use period should be. Some herbicides must be leached with standing water in the ditch for a certain period of time. The following table “Herbicides Registered For Irrigation Ditch Banks in Arizona.” Specifies those herbicides that can only be used on drainage ditches or dry ditches and if they have soil residual or foliar activity. It does not include several premixes and there may be some other products available that are not listed.


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