Herbicide Basics For Food Plots

Controlling weeds is a big key in successful food plots. To many weeds can easily choke out a plot that you've invested so much time and money into. Here are a list of a few herbicides you can use to have that beautiful plot you've always dreamed of!


Commonly referred to as Roundup, this non-selective herbicide is the most commonly used product for food plot preparation. The term non-selective means it will kill any plant that it comes in contact with. Weeds must be actively growing for Glyphosate to be carried to the root system, which means spraying when weeds are 4-6'' in height is a great time for a successful kill. This herbicide will not remain active in the soil, meaning it will not prevent additional weeds from growing. Crops labeled "Roundup Ready" are genetically modified to be resistant to this herbicide, meaning you can spray over actively growing crops without harming them. Rate: 1.5-2QT per acre.


Clethodim is a grass-specific, selective herbicide. A few alternative names for clethodim are Arrest Max, Arrow, or Select. Clethodim is an excellent choice for grass control in plots containing clover, chicory, alfalfa, sunflowers, and peas. This herbicide is much slower working than Glyphosate, so don't become discouraged as it may take several weeks to see results. Rate: 12-16 oz per acre. Add 1/2 oz crop oil per gallon. You may also replace crop oil with a plant food liquid fertilizer. 


2,4-D is a broadleaf selective herbicide without harming grasses. Unlike Clethodim, it is safe to use with forages such as cereal grains or corn. Weeds must be actively growing for this herbicide to be effective. WARNING: 2,4-D WILL remain in the soil up to 4 weeks after application, so take consideration when planting broadleaf species such as chicory. Rate: Approximately 1 QT per acre. 

2,4-DB (Butyrac)

While similar to 2,4-D, there is one specific difference: it will not kill most clovers and alfalfa when applied at proper rates. You may use this herbicide on forages such as: soybeans, clovers, alfalfa, wheat, rye, and oats. DO NOT USE ON: chicory, brassicas, other broadleaf forbs. Rate: 1-2 Quarts per acre.

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