There seems to be an unusually large number of reports of crop damage due to misguided spray applications so far this year. Some of them are due to poor decisions on what to apply, or perhaps in a few cases from carryover of certain herbicides after the drought last year. But in other cases, it's a matter of being in a hurry and simply making mental errors, grabbing the wrong product or forgetting exactly what you're mixing for what crop. That can happen in a wet spring when planting and spraying is compressed, and there is pressure to get the job done.
In one reported incident, a farmer asked a neighbor if he had some liquid insecticide left because he had two small corn fields left to plant and only needed a small amount. The neighbor obliged and brought over the jug. The farmer poured it in and planted. A few days later as the corn emerged, some of it began dying.
It didn't take Sherlock Holmes-type detective work to piece together what happened. The neighbor grabbed the wrong jug. The farmer was in a hurry and didn't even read the name on the jug. Instead of applying an insecticide, he had applied a soybean herbicide that is very hard on corn.
In another case a farmer had a partial tank of spray application mixed up. Then it rained for a few days and he was unable to spray. When he finally was ready to spray, he didn't really think through the consequences of applying what was in the tank. He added more spray and applied it on his soybeans. In a few days they looked very dinged up – like after a Cobra application only worse – and he didn't apply Cobra. Then it dawned on him that the herbicide in the tank from before was not only a soybean herbicide, but one that has to be applied before soybeans are up or when they are very small. The application over growing soybeans caused damage.
So the lesson of the stories is: watch what you pour in that tank!