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Nasty new ‘mare’ fights being bridled

Marestail in cornfields expected to raise control costs 25% next year.

Summer has been anything but easy for Reskovac Farms, especially since they’ve been trying to hold down crop input costs.

Sheilah: “This spring, I asked Mike where we were able to save some money this year. After all, prices didn’t look the best.”

Mike: “I thought we could cut some corn herbicide cost by leaving out a tank-mix product. I was looking at an overall savings of about $4,500.”

Sheilah: “If he thought it would work, it’d be worth a try. With last year’s lower yields, we needed to save where we could.” 

Mike: “About two weeks after everything was planted and sprayed, I realized that there was a new mare in town — marestail. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! We have had some marestail in soybeans on a couple farms in the past, but never in corn. Not like this!” 

Sheilah: “I remember getting a text from Mike with a picture of something green. I couldn’t tell exactly what exactly I was looking at.” 

Mike: “She called me right away and asked: ‘Where exactly is the corn; all I see are weeds.’ No, all you see is marestail,” I replied. So I did what most of us do — call our crop consultant: ‘What’s the cheapest way we can get this killed?’ We came up with a plan. I sprayed it and was told not to look for a few days.”

Sheilah: “A couple days after Mike sprayed, strong storms came through — just under 4 inches of rain in about 36 hours.”

Mike: “While out checking crops for flooding and storm damage, I drove by our marestail field. I was in disbelief! About 60% of the 30 acres was flat on the ground. About half of the marestail was dead. Once again, I was told not to look at it for a few more days.”

Sheilah: “Mike found more marestail while out checking other fields. He’s really getting frustrated with this, especially with current grain prices.”

Mike: “There’s something else we can try. But it’ll cost about $10 an acre to spray. There goes saving money on herbicide this year. I’m also figuring that next year’s cost will be 25% higher — to kill this new mare in town.”

The Reskovacs farm near Uniontown, Pa.
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