Spraying Corn and Soy Before Weeds Are Up
I’m Brian Frischmeyer. I’m a Grower Advisor with Growers Axis®, and I advise growers how to economically raise the highest yields they possibly can and have the highest profitability they possibly can as a partner in their operation. I’ve been an agronomist for about 25 years. I’m a Certified Crop Advisor and grew up in West Central Iowa.
Spraying crops before weeds are up is usually one of those things that a grower is like, “You know, it costs me a lot of money to spray my crop post emerge and if I don’t even see a weed, why in the world would I go spray it?”
Well, there’s a really good reason to go spraying at that time is because when you have no competition with your crop from weeds, your yields are maximized. If you let your weeds get out there over four inches they will compete with your bottom line as far as growing the best crop you possibly can. And what happens if your weeds get out the four inches you can see them pretty decent. And it rains for a week or two. Now they’re at 12 inches. Now you have a 9% loss of yield because you sprayed your weeds before they really ever came up.
I’m a Big Fan of Being Proactive
So, I’m a big fan of being proactive that we want to spray weeds before the corn is v6. Because at that point, you know you’re putting rows on the ears. And it’s just so much easier to injure the crop if you get a herbicide that’s a little bit hard on it. That corn is like a funnel. When you’re spraying the corn and the herbicide goes to the whirl, to the growing point, you’re really increasing your odds of hurting the crop. So, we want to make sure weeds are killed proactively.
The other thing about spraying your corn early is if you run over corn before 8 leaves and the growing point is under the ground, that corn does come back. If you snap the corn off when it’s larger, you’re not going to get an ear on the corn. So, it’s really easier, faster, and better on the crop to spray those crops before there’s many weeds out there.
And let’s face it, every field has weeds. I’ve never seen one yet that doesn’t. So, I don’t think we’ll have the year that just out of a miracle, you know, they didn’t come up this year. So, let’s get the corn sprayed.
Now on soybeans, there’s even more proactive thinking on that. Really, you know, if you have Xtend soybeans, we’re really looking at 20 to 30 days after the soybeans came out of the ground. We want to get out there with XtendiMax® or Enginia®, or whatever product you have labeled for those XtendiMax® soybeans. Your risk of off-target movement on small beans when there’s only a few growing points on the beans versus, you know, 50, your odds of injuring another crop is lower, but dicamba residual and really, you know works well on small weeds. Your coverage of weeds is so much better when they’re less than four inches tall. So, there’s just a lot better chance of having success if we’re spraying small weeds.
I have, you know, in my early years of working as an agronomist, I had an older farmer that really, you know, put it the best way that I think everybody can relate to, and that is, you know, it’s almost impossible to grow both weeds and corn or weeds and beans. You really have to choose, you know, which one are you going to feed? Which one are you going to water and what are you going to raise and so that really hit home with me and I’ve never forgot it for 25 years. And that’s why when it comes right down to it, that I think every farmer out there just wants to grow the crop that they make the money on.
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