Old school

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Weed control is becoming more difficult and more expensive in our soybeans.  For many reasons, including weed developing some herbicide resistance, and that no-till systems select for different species of weeds, in the past couple years it is becoming harder and harder to have ‘clean’ soybean fields.  When Roundup Ready soybeans were introduced, it became a no-brainer to use that technology, for it was much less expensive, and much more effective.  We finally had weed-free soybean fields!   Such a stark contrast to the soybean fields I remember as a young farmer.  Horseweeds (giant ragweed), foxtail, cockleburs, and johnsongrass were almost impossible to stop.  At harvest, your combine crawled through the soybean fields as it tried to digest the huge mat of weeds along with some puny soybeans underneath!   I sure don’t want to go back to those days!

One of the yucky things about summer back then was that we spent many mornings walking down the soybean rows pulling or cutting the weeds.  The fun wears off that job almost instantly!  Well, John and Brandon have been doing just that for some mornings this summer… with our new weed-enemies… marestail and waterhemp.

Brandon and John use the weed hook on some waterhemp– old school style

John is out again spraying johnsongrass in the soybeans.  There is a late flush on some fields.  He is getting the ‘end-of-season’ spraying blues.   This will be the 4th herbicide trip this year over some of the fields, and he is eager to be ‘done’!  Plus, we are eager to stop the spending, too!

I’m off to evaluate 4 farm locations for John to decide if he needs to spray….


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