Do you face the same challenging weeds you faced 20 or 30 years ago? In the past 30 years, farmers have adopted more soil conservation practices such as no-till and shallower tillage methods. This shift in tillage practices will impact the weed species in your fields.
Categories: Agronomy, Agronomy Talk
Cover crops not only play an important role in soil heath, but also in weed control. Cover crops can reduce selection pressure on current, effective herbicide options, and they can also suppress weeds due to the large amounts of biomass they produce. Similar to canopy coverage, biomass will shade the soil and reduce weed emergence.
WHAT IS A WINTER ANNUAL?
Winter annuals will germinate in the fall, overwinter, and produce seed in early spring and summer. Common examples include marestail, henbit, purple deadnettle, prickly lettuce, common chickweed, shepherd’s purse, pennycress, etc. Most winter annuals will overwinter as a rosette and bolt in the spring, producing seed in early summer. However, marestail can have extended germination which can result in additional flushes of weeds in the spring and even early summer.
One of the first steps to a successful herbicide program is starting clean to allow the pre-emerge herbicide to reach the soil surface. The burndown also allows the opportunity to utilize other “effective” SOAs that can’t be used in-season such as Gramoxone® SL 2.0. Spraying early in the spring provides the opportunity to control winter annuals like marestail as well as emerging summer annuals such as giant ragweed.
Beck’s Practical Farm Research (PFR)® data shows the importance of using pre-emerge herbicides with multiple effective SOAs in order to lay the foundation for a successful herbicide program. The question is whether the pre-emerge herbicide will last until canopy closure. Once we reach canopy closure, the limited light makes it difficult for new flushes of weeds to emerge.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This quote can be applied to weed management today. Preventing weeds from emerging protects yield.
The easiest weeds to control are those that never emerge. Cliché? Maybe. But as weeds continue to adapt, mounting resistance to herbicides builds every year. Sustainable control has become increasingly more challenging to achieve.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
This quote can be applied to weed management today. A successful pre-emerge application lays the foundation for a successful post-emerge application.
With summer heat comes summer storms- and occasionally, hail damage. The impact (no pun intended) of hail on your crop depends on the severity of the initial damage, the growth stage of the crop, and weather conditions as the crop recovers.
This agronomy brief covers the damage caused by the most common early-season soybean pests, how to identify them, and how to manage them.
This agronomy brief covers the damage caused by the most common early-season corn pests, how to identify them, and how to manage them.
Soybean yields ultimately depend on the number and weight of the seeds harvested per acre. Soybean yield is determined by nodes per acre (plants per acre x nodes per plant), pods per node, seeds per pod, and seed weight.
Black cutworm (BCW) (Agrotis ipsilon) is an insect pest in many areas of the world. It can cause significant economic damage to corn, soybean, cotton, and other crop species. In the Corn Belt, BCW larvae are primarily known for the damage they cause to newly emerged corn plants. Their feeding can result in cut off seedlings near ground level, thus, the name “cutworm”.
Fusarium Head Blight (FHB), also called head scab, is a disease that can affect many small grain crops, but its economic impact is the largest on wheat. The causal pathogen of this disease is Fusarium graminearum, and it can significantly impact yield and grain quality. The disease can produce many mycotoxins. Deoxynivalenol (DON), also known as vomitoxin, is the primary mycotoxin screened for at grain delivery points.
Starter fertilizers are relatively small amounts of plant nutrients, placed near the seed at planting. The two most common application methods are in-furrow, also called pop-up, and 2x2. While some planter setups are not a true 2 in. over and 2 in. below the seed, all banded starter fertilizer that’s not placed in the planting furrow is referred to as 2x2.
While cover crops provide a variety of benefits, cover crop termination in the spring requires additional management practices. Spring cover crop termination varies by cover crop species, the goals of cover cropping, whether that cover crop will be used in the spring (i.e., forage), weed pressure and species, and the proceeding cash crop.
Western bean cutworm (WBC) is a relatively new pest to field corn in the Midwest. While WBC is native to North America, it has primarily been a pest of specialty crops up until the early 2000s. Like European corn borer and earworms, WBC is part of the Lepidoptera family of corn pests, meaning they resemble caterpillars. Even though they look much like corn borers and earworms, their feeding and life cycle is quite different.
Soybean aphids (Aphis glycines Matsumara) are a piercing and sucking insect that have been affecting soybeans in the U.S. since the early 2000s. Aphids tend to be a problem in late-planted soybean fields during years with dry conditions and moderate temperatures. The insects themselves are small (1/16 in. long), pear-shaped, and yellow-to-green in color. They have black extensions on the body toward the back legs that are often called “tailpipes.” Winds deposit aphids in fields, so the infestation works from the top of the plant to the bottom. Aphids are most damaging in dry field conditions but shy away from heat, so look for them on the underside of leaves.
Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) in the United States was first observed in 1954 in North Carolina, and it has continued to spread throughout most of the major soybean growing areas (Tylka and Marett 2014). The expansion of SCN across the U.S. and Canada is depicted in in Figure 1. to the left. It is the most damaging pest in soybeans by a large margin.
Twenty years of Beck’s Practical Farm Research (PFR)® data indicates that one key to optimizing soybean yield over time is early planting. Early planting of soybeans increases the number of nodes, which creates additional pods and higher yield.