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Making Early Summer Scouting Pay

If late planting leads to your no-till crops canopying 2 or 3 weeks later than normal, early weed control is critical.

Now's a great time to head out to your no-till fields and scout for weeds, insects and other pests. Many of you will be putting on your second pass of herbicides and/or applying a second pass where it turned out that the one-pass weed control system wasn’t adequate.

Weed Management

If your crop progress is behind due to later no-tilling this year, the weeds may still be ahead of your no-tilled crops. However, you still need to spray weeds early enough so they don’t reduce yields.

If the weeds are ahead, you need to spray them or they’ll trim 3 to 4 bushels per acre off your bean yields and 10 to 15 bushels off your corn yields.

With this kind of imbalance in crop canopy relative to weed development, this may be a good year to add some residual herbicides to your weed-control program. With the late planting season, crops may canopy 2 or 3 weeks behind schedule, thus giving later weeds a chance to capture the sun and get out ahead of your no-till crop’s canopy.

While you are out there identifying weeds and making last-minute herbicide choices, take the time to do stand counts and seeding uniformity checks to make sure that your no-till planter and the adjustments you made were effective. These checks will help you tweak your no-till planter adjustments next spring to optimize your planting management.

Pest Management

Pests are in full swing at this time of the year, so it’s important that you…

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Leverich jim

Jim Leverich

No-Till Farmer's Conservation Ag Operator Fellow for 2022, Jim Leverich is a no-till farmer near Sparta, Wis. His 1,000 acre-farm has been in his family since 1864 and no-tilled since 1984. An innovator and educator, Leverich has 35-plus years of no-till and on-farm research experience, and possesses a deep, practical understanding of what makes no-till work. For his contributions while at the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension Service, Leverich was named the No-Till Innovator of the Year (Research & Education category) in 2006. A talented presenter and writer, Leverich was a regular guest columnist for No-Till Farmer in 2011 when it earned the Gold Medal as the nation’s top newsletter from the American Society of Business Press Editors.

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