What Is the Perfect Mix?
So far it has been a fairly eventful spring. Planting season came and went, bringing us favorable planting conditions and allowing us to get the crop in the ground in a timely manner. Early-season rains and warm temperatures got the crop out of the ground quickly and promoted vigorous corn growth.
The soybean crop struggled in some areas where localized heavy rains made it a challenge for some beans to punch through soil with the consistency of concrete. Pulling rotary hoes out of the corner of our toolsheds, blowing the dust off, and replacing some bearings helped to get a lot of those beans out of the ground and even up final stand counts across the field.
Unfortunately, this occurred right around the same time many growers were experiencing chemical injury, likely due to PPO group site-of-action chemistries. The same localized heavy rains I mentioned previously and a sudden dip in temperatures resulted in slow emergence and soybean plants sitting in highly concentrated bands of pre-emergence chemicals for a lengthy period of time. As we all know, these ups and downs are what make the heart of agriculture tick.
Fight for control
Currently, the biggest struggle many of us have faced are localized heavy rains, some of which brought more than 10+ inches of moisture in a matter of a few weeks. This has been extremely tough to deal with, because the rain started to fall as the corn crop was approaching perfect timing for post application of herbicides. While these fields were saturated over the past few weeks, not only did the corn continue to put on collars at a blistering pace, but the broadleaf pressure became more significant within these fields as these weeds grew at an even faster rate than the corn.
I strongly encourage you to scout any fields that have not been sprayed to see what type of broadleaf pressure you have coming within your fields. Although many tank-mix partners have gone off label at this stage of the corn crop, there are still certain chemistries labeled for use up to the V10 stage that can be tank-mixed with glyphosate to better our chances of killing some of those aggressive broadleaf weeds.
It is easy to become complacent about control when corn is as large as it is now because you simply cannot see the weed pressure to get a true perspective. I encourage growers to not only take a look at the cornfields that haven’t been post sprayed, but also to glance at the ones that have been sprayed to ensure the tough-to-kill waterhemp plants met their match when you initially sprayed. If they didn’t, discuss any needed rescue treatments with your United Prairie agronomist.
Last, but not least, soybean spraying follows right on the heels of corn application. If you are spraying your own chemicals or simply scouting your fields before United Prairie sprays them for you, take a very good look at these soybean fields before settling on that 32 oz. rate of glyphosate. Some of these soybean fields deserve credit because they are beautiful, but there are already certain fields showing signs of unwelcome 12” or larger lambsquarter and waterhemp. If at anytime you do not feel confident with what the appropriate rate of glyphosate should be, or if you feel something needs to be added to the chemical mix to achieve a thorough kill, please call your United Prairie agronomist for assistance.
It seems as if it was just yesterday when growers had their planters sitting outside their shop doors waiting for the perfect conditions to drop that first seed in the ground. Now as we look ahead, it will only be a matter of two and half months until the combines will back out of those shed doors to harvest that very seed. I wish all of you a safe and prosperous remainder of this growing season, and all of us at United Prairie look forward to working with each of you through whatever may be thrown our way until those combines roll.