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Vegetable IPM Updates Archive
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Weeds in Seed Crops (February 18, 2015)
Crops that are grown for seed often can be a problem when double cropped with something else. Small grains, cotton and seed crops commonly need to be controlled in the following crop. Fresh market vegetables are not left to produce seed and are rarely a problem. Vegetable seed crop seeds that are left in the field can, however, be difficult and costly to remove. This is a cost that is often not considered when the costs of production are calculated. It can cost $200 to $300 an acre or more to remove broccoli, cauliflower, onion, herb or other volunteer seed crops that come up after harvest. The Yuma area has some of the best custom harvest operators in the world for vegetables but is impossible to capture every seed and it doesn’t take many to cause a problem. Many seed crops are planted in September when summer annuals and perennial weeds are a problem, grown through the winter when winter annuals are a problem and are not harvested until may or June when summer and perennials weeds have again emerged .Weeds that emerge in the spring are difficult to control in seed crops because it is often too late to cultivate or spray. Unlike many common weed seeds, crop seed is selected to all emerge at the same time. Some, however, can continue to be an annual problem for years to come.
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For questions or comments on any of the topics please contact Marco Pena at the Yuma Agricultural Center.
College of Agriculture, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.

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