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It's spraying season

Kyle Stackhouse Corn Field with Weeds
The picture illustrates ‘reachback,’ this is when small growing weeds take in the herbicide and die. As you can see with the environmental conditions we have had, some weeds have continued to stay green and grow.
Timely herbicide applications are a must when raising non-GMO crops.

This week has been all about getting caught up on spraying. Several hundred acres that were planted during the dry stretch had escapes that had to be re-sprayed. When it did rain, the chemistry was activated and began working. With the environmental conditions we have had, some weeds have continued to stay green and grow. When raising non-GMO crops, timely applications are a must. If escapes grow too big, it is very hard to kill them. The same is true of herbicide-resistant weeds, it is so much easier to kill them early.

It's time to make planned in-crop herbicide applications for our first planted corn and soybeans. We are also close to the first nutrition application for corn. Though I prefer not to ‘weed and feed,’ sometimes the only practical solution is to apply the herbicide and nutrition in the same pass. With the heat coming this weekend, crops will begin to grow rapidly as we rack up GDUs.

Spraying has gone pretty well this week. The winds have been calm, and I have been able to keep moving. My goal is to spray in the morning and be done by 2 in the afternoon each day. This may still be past the ideal window where foliage is receptive to absorb products, but I guess that is where I draw the line in the sand. If the kids don’t have ball games, I may go back out after supper and spray another load in the evening after plants open up again. I just don’t want to waste dollars, I want them to work efficiently for me.

I inspected the sprayer boom repair yesterday and everything seems to be holding together fine. We got the planter back up and running so we could replant a few acres this week. There are still repairs that will need to be made, but our concerns about major issues are gone.

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress. 

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