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Fall Planning Sets Stage for Successful Spring


The crops are out, and along with a sense of relief come thoughts of next year. Fall is an excellent time to think about what steps you need to take to get the 2014 crop off to an optimum start next spring. 

The first thing to focus on is nitrogen planning in order to ensure that the crop has adequate nitrogen for the next growing season. That process begins with fall application, as we work to minimize loss over the winter as well as planting delays come spring. 

The most important things to consider when looking at multi-pass nitrogen application are maintaining a comfort level between your goals and the need to get your nitrogen applied in a timely manner to benefit your crops. Whether you fall apply anhydrous followed by a side-dress application later, or if the weather prohibits fall work, going with 28% and the weed-and-feed programs, flexibility is the name of the game.

It is important to lay a good base layer of nitrogen and, if you’re doing that in the fall, to protect it with N-Serve®. Then you can follow that up with in-season applications based on growing conditions and crop needs. Part of the total package needs to be tissue testing to gauge those levels throughout the growing season.

Whatever your plan, and whatever the growing season calls for, we have the products, equipment, and services to handle all of your crop’s nitrogen needs.

Clean those fields
A second area of focus this fall is weed control. A fall burndown application is essential to achieve control of winter annuals and maintain a weed-free environment, which helps ensure earlier planting in the spring. Fall is the ideal time to get the jump on marestail, one of our problem weeds. In central Illinois, the majority of all marestail comes up between Halloween and the end of November. Fall burndown enables us to apply sufficient levels of herbicides that will give us control of glyphosate-resistant marestail.

It is critical to understand that fall burndown applications need to be treated as completely separate from spring residual applications for waterhemp—which is also developing resistance to glyphosate. 

I believe the foundation of any good fall burndown application is a quart of 2,4-D. We’ve also seen nice efficacy on broadleaves with dicamba. Control of many grasses can also be improved by adding glyphosate into the mix. The next component is a residual product that fits with these products. The best time to apply is from Halloween until freeze-up.

Keep flexibility in mind when choosing herbicides, so you’ll leave your options open to go corn-on-corn if the markets so dictate. Whether you need advice on herbicides, the right products, or someone to do it all for you, we’re here to help. Talk to us about your fall nitrogen and weed control programs.

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