Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Saturday, May 8, 2010
There were too many of us a week ago wishing for some rain. We sure got it. At time of writing here on Saturday afternoon the area received between 1-4" of rain depending on which thunderstorm happened to pass by. Heavy rains are very destructive to soil structure. Big rain drops are like small atomic bombs, which completely shatter soil particles. The result is a tight film of smashed particles across the surface of bare soil and the weight of the standing water adds to the problem. The finer the seed bed, the worse this condition is and many of our fields worked down like powder in April. If your crop was close to emerging, it will still make a stand without too much trouble. If it had just been planted, we will need to keep an eye on crusting problems and be ready to react with some type of crust fighting device.
The other issue for those of you that have corn emerged, with no herbicide down, will be to get that crop sprayed as soon as possible.
I have attched a photo from Aaron's Agronomy Blog showing a 3 leaf corn plant. Research has proven a corn field needs to be weed free by the 3 leaf stage or yield losses can start to accumulate. This is because the weeds, particularly small grasses, compete for the same light as the corn plant. Too many grassy weeds reduce the photosynthetic capability of the young corn plant. The saturated soil conditions will prevent sprayers from moving for several days and more rain is in the forecast. It is another reason why I like some residual herbicide down at planting time. It keeps the crop clean through its early growth stages.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
From the day you plant to the day the crop emerges, you automatically know you heave accumulated about 150 heat units.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Those of you who read the financial press know when an author writes about a company they should disclose whether they own shares of that company.
On our farm we have a three step formula for keeping dandelions out of our crops.
1.It starts with a fall application of glyphosate in wheat stubble. Dandelions seed in the summer and early fall. Glyphosate is deadly on seedling dandelions in the fall. Dandelions also do not like being disturbed. We use a light tillage pass with a disc, or other vertical tillage tools or sometimes heavy tillage with a disc ripper. This eliminates dandelions from our corn crop.
2.In the corn crop we use soil residual herbicides like Primextra or this year we have tried some Integrity, a new product from BASF. If we need a post emerge application we use glyphosate to tidy up the field. Nor sure what impact this has on dandelions, but we have a clean field and very few dandelions in our corn stubble.
3.In soybeans we always include Classic as part of our herbicide mix. Classic gives practically 100% control of young dandelions through the growing season. We rarely have to spray our wheat in the spring for dandelions and I credit this to our use of Classic. Our goal is to get a wheat crop that looks like this.