Herbicide flexibility can make or break a crop

Published on: 15:37PM Sep 18, 2009
Gordon Vail
The 2009 planting season, which lasted well into June in places like Missouri, was just one more example of how growers like you manage unpredictable weather. Some planting seasons are early and easy. Some are late and frustrating. But as you start harvesting, you want to see grain in the tank, not lots of weeds on the ground. Or a complete disaster, like this.
Because Mother Nature is ever-changing, herbicide flexibility in the spring can help you maximize yields in the fall. Residual herbicides are critical for keeping fields clean early. But if you spray and it rains too much before your corn is planted, you need a herbicide with long residual control. Or you plant and it rains before you can spray, you need a herbicide that can be applied after corn has emerged.
The problem is that you likely chose your herbicide program a couple months before you started warming up the tractor. In fact, you will be evaluating your weed control, along with all your other crop decisions, as your combine is rolling. So as you look for weeds that may have stolen grain from your tank and add to your problems next year, think about the flexibility you will want in 2010.