Over the past 25-plus years AgriTalk host Chip Flory has been on the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, he’s criticized Nebraska farmers for their lack of weed control. This year is the exception. He caught up with Nebraska farmer and master scout Tim Gregerson to find out what farmers did differently in the Husker state this year.
- Dicamba. “I'd say the most important [factor] that got us cleaner acres was probably the dicamba herbicide program that came [to Nebraska],” Gregerson says. “It was tested last year, but in the 2018 season, acres really picked up and I think more people treated with the herbicide program. That's probably the most gain that we got in Nebraska.”
- Pre-application herbicides. Gregerson says another reason for fewer weeds was due to pre-application. He noted that it was a late spring in Nebraska and pre-apps were applied in a tighter window. The weather warmed up after that and there was good rainfall, which helped products work really well.
- Learning to use Liberty Link properly. “I'll give Liberty link a little shout,” Gregerson says. “I'm not sure that it gained a lot of acres, but the people that are using Liberty learned how to use it,” he says. “You put it on when it's 90 degrees, maybe 95 degrees, and at 20 gallons per acre you can kill some weeds with Liberty.”
- Volunteer corn. “We had a huge problem with ear drop and down corn off the stock last year, and that volunteer corn came with a vengeance in early May, when it did warm up,” he explains. “Producers knew about it ahead of time and talked all winter about how bad the volunteer corn was going to be. They went out with an herbicide program to get that volunteer corn. It involved a broad leaf program that probably helped get the weeds at a smaller date.”
There are still a handful of areas in the state that are facing significant weed pressure, something Gregerson blames on wet fields. He says in some areas farmers were unable to run a sprayer in June for 20 to 28 days because of the rainfall patterns. As a result, some weeds got pretty big.
“Getting coverage then was a little issue and we’ve got some late season water hemp popping up in a few cases,” Gregerson says.