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When it comes to changes for 1999, Rich and Marcy Little plan to use more Roundup Ready soybeans, use lower herbicide rates, do a better job of getting chemicals applied, try no-tilling soybeans in October or November and test for soybean cyst nematodes.
The Easton, Ohio, couple farms with Marcy’s dad, grandfather and uncle. They no-till 1,300 acres of corn and soybeans on flat prairie to rolling hill ground located in West Central Ohio and East Central Indiana.
By switching to a rotation of one-third no-till corn and two-thirds no-till soybeans, the Littles have changed weed control philosophies in recent years.
“We used to try to clean up grass problems when we no-tilled corn,” says Rich. “But with beans being no-tilled two straight years in our three-year rotation and using Roundup Ready soybeans on 740 acres in 1998, we’ve seen a big change in weed pressures.
“We now try to keep all weeds under control in our soybeans. Since we’re applying much smaller amounts of atrazine, grass escapes in corn are more frequent.”
The Littles say timing is the key to their spray program and they bought a Willmar self-propelled sprayer in 1996 so they could more effectively handle their own chemical applications..
“Once the costs were penciled out, including timelineness, we discovered it was cheaper to own our own sprayer,” explains Marcy.
“We previously hired custom applicators and also used a pull-behind type sprayer equipped with wide tires. We couldn’t post spray corn…