Total Vegetation Control: How to Achieve Bareground Results This Fall

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bareground around power substation Utility substation 

As vegetation managers work to achieve bareground results throughout utility substations and along countless miles of roadside and railroad infrastructure, selective herbicide applications have been identified as a go-to solution for total vegetation control. We analyze the best ways to leverage associated strategies this fall.

What do railroads, roadsides and utility substations have in common? All three are negatively impacted by the presence of invasive plant species. From impeding long-term care of roadways and jeopardizing the integrity of railway infrastructure to posing a threat to electrical transmission reliability, invasive plants can wreak havoc in more ways than one. That’s why many vegetation managers work to control them effectively, and the best approach for achieving bareground results on these sites is using the appropriate herbicides for total vegetation control (TVC).

When to Apply Total Vegetation Control Treatments

Achieving bareground results requires the application of postemergence herbicide treatments in the spring after weeds start growing and the application of preemergence treatments in the late winter or early spring. However, shifting the timing of preemergence herbicide applications to the fall can actually enhance TVC programs by providing optimum control of the broadest spectrum of weeds with a single application.

As cooler temperatures stimulate the emergence and germination of winter annuals, fall-timed TVC treatments establish a preemergence barrier. This effectively stops targeted plant species from depositing seedbeds in the soil or surviving until the spring, when they are harder to control. Spraying later in the season also provides a variety of other benefits, including:

  • Enhanced control of lingering summer annuals and perennials
  • Balanced workloads for applicators who normally have higher workloads in the spring
  • Reduced exposure to crops and other sensitive areas


Importance of Rotating of Bareground Tank Mixes

While herbicide applications are the best approach to achieving bareground results for TVC programs, invasive plants and tough-to-control weeds often grow resistant to commonly used chemistries. It may be tempting to simply apply more herbicide each year, but overuse leads to higher per-acre treatment rates, which only result in ever-rising maintenance costs. That’s why it’s important to establish a consistent rotation of bareground tank mixes that include herbicides with unique modes of action. This approach provides multiple benefits, as it:

  • Fights weed resistance and extends the effectiveness of bareground herbicides
  • Delivers improved weed control to benefit the environment
  • Lowers long-term maintenance costs with reduced application rates


In the past, applicators applied glyphosate multiple times each year to treat postemergence and keep application sites clear of vegetation. Unfortunately, repetitive glyphosate treatments strengthen weed resistance, which limits their effectiveness. Public scrutiny around glyphosate use also has caused many vegetation managers to explore different herbicide solutions for their TVC programs.

Using TerraVue® herbicide to Control Weeds

Maintaining a consistent rotation of herbicide tank mixes featuring unique modes of action helps to fight weed resistance and safeguards the bottom line of vegetation management programs. That’s why Corteva offers a variety of preemergence herbicide products to work as valuable additions to current program mixes.

As the latest addition to the portfolio of herbicide products offered by Corteva, TerraVue® herbicide can be applied to support TVC programs. Although TerraVue can be applied alone by broadcast, pretreatment or spot treatment methods at a rate of up to 5.7 ounces per acre, enhanced results are achieved by mixing TerraVue at 2.85 ounces per acre with other herbicides to significantly improve broad-spectrum control of weeds and undesirable grasses. No registered active ingredients are prohibited for tank-mixing with TerraVue.

To learn more about industry-leading products and best practices for seasonal treatment opportunities, visit


™ ® Trademarks of Corteva Agriscience and its affiliated companies. Under normal field conditions, TerraVue® is nonvolatile. TerraVue has no grazing or haying restrictions for any class of livestock, including lactating dairy cows, horses (including lactating mares) and meat animals prior to slaughter. Label precautions apply to forage treated with TerraVue and to manure and urine from animals that have consumed treated forage. Consult the label for full details. TerraVue is not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Always read and follow label directions. © 2021 Corteva.

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