A huge section of farm management goes to planning for weeds, taking up a large amount of our time and money.
Weeds can have a serious impact on soil quality and yield quantity, not to mention your budget and precision agriculture plans. Some weeds can be predicted, others pop up when they’re least expected.
It only makes sense to meticulously plan our weed management for the year. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Benefits of a good plan
The main benefit of a weed management plan is… less weeds! With the right tools you can ensure weeds have less impact as the years go by and your experience helps you build detailed weed management plans.
You’ll become more efficient at removing weeds and knowing when action needs to be taken. More importantly, when you understand your herbicides, tools, fields and crops you develop an idea of what weeds are going to pop up and when.
You’ll be ready for any weed surprises. You’ll have set aside just the right amount of money to cover herbicide and equipment costs. A weed management plan leaves you feeling in control of your farm, ready to take action.
All of this will be contributing towards better farm management and overall yield improvement.
What to include
Details about your farm. Which areas are prone to certain types of weeds? You’ll want to include all the facts so when you come to write down your plan it’s full of informed decisions.
Clear defined goals. Go into more depth than just ‘remove weeds.’ Are you aiming to reduce money spent on herbicides? Implement more organic weed management solutions? Increase spraying efficiency? Know your goals before you plan.
Detailed outline of your actions. Create a timeline for the year(s) showing when crop spraying will happen and what herbicides are required for which crop. Consider herbicide half-lives and damage to soil nutrition levels. Make some emergency plans too for worst case scenarios.
Useful tools and techniques
A weed management plan could be your chance to try something new.
Help with spraying herbicides: take a look at drift reduction agents to help improve crop spraying accuracy, or maybe you’re in need of water conditioning adjuvants so more of your herbicide is taken up by weeds. There’s lots of smart farming tech out there!
Cover crops: by planting a cover crop over winter, or whenever your fields are susceptible to weeds, you’re ensuring that weeds don’t get a chance to grow at all. Cover crops have many other benefits from combatting erosion to turning extra profit.
Grazing management: introducing your cattle, or renting your fields to cattle farmers, can beat down weeds and unwanted grasses so they’re more manageable for your herbicides – increasing efficiency while taking care of your fields.
A well-developed weed management plan means you’re ready for whatever your farm throws at you!