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Burndown vs. Tillage

July 9, 2013
By: Ellie Murphy, Farm Journal Media Intern
This field has rough seed beds due to weed mats that prevented proper tillage.  

A field that has experienced heavy weed pressure in the past will have residual problems if not treated properly. Farm Journal’s Associate Field Agronomist Missy Bauer explains the issues that arise from heavy weed matting in Episode 5 of Corn College TV Season 3.

In some instances, mats can keep equipment from tilling and planting properly. It is important to get an herbicide burndown done at least one or two weeks ahead of planting when equipment cannot handle thick growth.

(Click here to order Corn College TV Education Series on DVD.) 

In Episode 5, Bauer shows examples from a field that had experienced heavy weed growth in the previous season. The tillage equipment hadn’t been able to maneuver through the weeds properly because of the thick matting, resulting in non-uniform planting.

"Remember that tillage isn’t always the answer when you get this heavy in weeds," she says, because heavy growth prevents the tillage tools from creating reliable seed beds. This causes the ear count to vary greatly in that field, taking away from total yield.

Learn more about preventing and treating weeds in Corn College TV Episode 5 below.

Click here to register for 2013 Corn College events this summer.

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