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Seedling of yellow starthistlePreplant Weed Survey

Survey the previous crop and between crops to determine the spectrum of weeds present. Records from previous crops help determine which weeds may be in the seed bank and require control before germination.

How to survey

Walk through each field in a random pattern, rating the degree of infestation for each weed species. Use either a numeric scale of 1 to 5 (1 being the lightest, 5 being the heaviest), or rate as "light," "medium," or "heavy."

  • Note the location of weeds beginning to flower so you can control them before they set seed.
  • Check fencerows, ditch banks, field edges, and wet spots as these may be problem areas for weed growth.
  • Check adjacent areas for weeds such as thistles that produce wind-disseminated seeds.
  • Pay particular attention to perennial weeds.
  • Sketch a map of the field and mark areas with major weed infestations for follow-up control action.
  • Record results on a weed survey form (134 KB, PDF).

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Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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