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One Farming Question that Shouldn’t Enter Your Brain

The old adage is that there is never a stupid question. An inquisitive mind will aid you to better manage your farm and be a better agriculturalist. Yet, there’s one question that should never enter your mind, said Ryan Rector who acts as the technology development manager of Roundup at Monsanto.

Can I get away with …? – that’s a dangerous question,” said Rector. “Cutting rates and a lack of tank mixes and residuals helped get us to where we’re at today.”

Looking at numerous studies, passing twice with herbicides and using a residual up-front results in a better harvest due to fewer weeds. This method outshines a single-pass method, according to Rector. He gave five tips for a top-notch method of dealing with weeds.

  1. Be sure to till or burn before you plant.

  2. Use a residual the first time through.

  3. Apply herbicides with various action sites afterward.

  4. After each pass, visually check. “If we didn’t control a weed, we want to know why, and we want to know what to do next,” said Rector.

  5. Spray weeds before they reach 4 inches in height.

These are the basics for weed control and shouldn’t be augmented even with plants that are genetically able to handle high dosages of 2, 4-D or dicamba.

New technology will bring another tool, but the overall recommendations will not change,” he said. “Residuals and tank mixing will still be a part of the mix.”

DuPont Crop Protection recently surveyed farmers about their weed programs, and the results showed that 87 percent said that do everything possible to make sure weed resistance doesn’t happen. That result shows an increase from the 70 percent in 2011.

Among those surveyed, 61 percent said they will invest more in herbicides in the future (either financially or in time). Just 3 percent planned to “wait and see” how they will respond to their weed problems.

Weed resistance management is increasingly complicated, as weeds continue to evolve,” Dupont’s business manager James Hay said. “A season-long weed-control plan, including herbicides using multiple modes of action, is critical to triumphing over hard-to-control weeds and protecting yield.”

No one who took the survey planned on decreasing their protection agents in a big way during 2015.

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