Timing probably ranks as the most important issue in farming, especially when it comes to spraying, says Phil Needham, a widely known ag consultant and a National No-Tillage Conference speaker.
“My grandfather told me as a child that the difference between a good farmer and a bad farmer is a week,” Needham says.
“What he meant is that the good farmers are out there spraying the weeds in a timely fashion. They’re spraying the insects and the diseases in a timely fashion.
“The poorer farmers are 3 or 5 days late, for example, and before you know it, they get rained out and then they’re not in there in a timely fashion and yield loss is the result.”
And if that’s not enough motivation for being prepared to spray, Needham points to the inevitability of Asian soybean rust infecting fields in the United States.
He admits that rust has not yet hit in a big way despite repeated warnings from ag officials and researchers over the past few years.
But, he cautions, “It’s not a case of if, it’s when soybean rust will hit. You need to be prepared and have the spray equipment configured. You need to get your supporting equipment ready because it’s going to be a big issue. I think everybody understands that.”
Noting the findings of weed scientist Brian Young of Southern Illinois University, Needham points to a corn yield of 182 bushels per acre from a test plot in which a residual corn herbicide was…