When it came time last winter to negotiate herbicide prices, Joe Hottel was offered a custom spraying “bonus” he couldn’t pass up.
The operator of Egypt Farms at Burkittsville, Md., normally does most of the weed spraying with his own farm crew. He purchases herbicides from two Southern States outlets for no-tilling 7,000 acres in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.
“They made us a deal that was so good for spraying that we couldn’t have done it ourselves for that price,” he says. “It included a self-propelled RoGator and operator, along with a nurse truck and driver/helper. They used a Spra-Coupe in some fields and we provided a tanker filled with water.
“With 8,000 acres of crops, we couldn’t have done all of the spraying ourselves. We often find ourselves no-tilling full-season soybeans, applying post-emergence corn herbicides and making hay all in the same week. Since that workload spreads our seven-man farming crew pretty thin, it’s a big benefit when we can afford to have fields custom sprayed.”
There’s certainly plenty of weed spraying in this no-till operation that includes 2,000 acres of corn, 2,800 acres of full-season soybeans, 1,400 acres of wheat, 1,000 acres of double-cropped soybeans, 800 acres of hay and 4,000 acres of cover crops.
Hottel crops 225 fields that range from 3 to 170 acres. A typical field on these 50 farms is 30 to 35 acres.
The spraying season started last spring with Roundup and Tilt applied to a few no-till wheat fields.…