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Maintain Good Management As You Return To The Fields

This spring, consider keeping track of field performance, using fertilizer efficiently and rotating herbicide modes of action.

For many no-tillers, this was a long winter filled with cold temperatures and substantial snowfall — at least in the upper to central regions of the Midwest. Add to the fact that we see robust commodity crop prices, and you’ve got a lot of excited no-tillers enthusiastic to return to the fields to sow crops.

Likely, many areas are seeing high-moisture conditions at planting time due to substantial wintertime moisture and a slow build to spring-like conditions. With the desire of many no-tillers to get the crop into the ground as soon as possible to maximize yield potential, take caution to avoid being too hasty.

Don’t cut any corners, and maintain good management practices. Consider the following actions to help you monitor the performance of your fields, manage high-cost fertilizers and maintain the effectiveness of glyphosate in your weed-control programs.

Monitor Field Performance

The management decisions you make on your farm affect your field’s ultimate yield and profitability. Monitoring your fields periodically throughout the growing season will give you a baseline to determine how to improve your management.

Take a few minutes each time you enter a no-till field to assess your stands, weed control, residue management, pests and other management measures. Record this information and keep it with you so you can look back at your comments the next time you enter the field.

It’s best to evaluate several areas of the field so you can see if your observations are consistent or if the field or crop has…

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Leverich_jim

Jim Leverich

Jim Leverich no-tills near Sparta, Wis., and serves as an onfarm research coordinator for the University of Wisconsin.

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