Protecting yield potential requires cleaning up fields before no-tilling, controlling weeds when they are small and mixing modes of action.
Right now, the focus for many no-tillers is getting seed in the ground. Most of the Corn Belt and surrounding areas have seen drier and warmer conditions than normal for the past month.
But even as planting picks up full steam, you’ll want to keep your mind on protecting the crop from weed pressure. Next to superb no-till planter and drill performance, controlling weeds in a timely, effective manner is one of the best ways to achieve yield potential.
Gordon Vail, technical brand manager for Syngenta Crop Protection, offers up some of the following suggestions for high-performance no-till weed control.
1. You’ve got to start clean. Vail says a tendency for growers is to plant their crop and then hold off or delay applications until the crop emerges.
“What we are learning is that when you allow those weeds to emerge with your crop, you are doing more harm to the crop than what folks realize, so it’s real critical to start clean,” Vail says. “Don’t let any weeds be present when you plant corn. Kill all the weeds so that your corn is on a fair starting ground.
“If the weeds get ahead of your corn, you’ve already given up some of your corn’s vitality in the first couple of days or weeks.”
2. Don’t wait with your burndown. Vail says you’re taking a risk if you wait to…