What You Can Learn from a Post-Planting Scouting Trip

Scouting fields after planting is over can help no-tillers learn what tweaks might be needed for their planting operations or weed management programs.

ONCE CROPS emerge, it’s a good time for early-season scouting to identify pests like cutworms and wireworms, and to evaluate your planter and starter-fertilizer performance.

Check out the weed species you see emerging and make sure your early post-emergence herbicide program will control them — and remember to leave a residual with different chemistry to help prevent resistance issues for all herbicide families.

Glyphosate resistance is pointed out all the time, but we need to be careful not to select for resistance for all herbicide families. Rotation is a good phrase to remember in all facets of crop production to reduce problems with crop pests.

If you’re sidedressing nitrogen (N), get started early to reduce crop damage and ensure you have N available when the crop needs it. If you’re split-applying N you can wait a bit longer, as long as you don’t have crop damage from later applications.

Planter Performance.

Look for differences across the rows of your planter to determine if any row units or attachments didn’t perform as well as others. Check the planting depth by digging up seedlings and noting how their depth compares to your planter settings. Then you’ll know how the planter setting really translates to actual, final depth after the soil has settled in after planting.

If stands aren’t uniform across the planter, it could be the planter — but it might also be some other previous pass you made with a fertilizer rig that could have hampered the planter’s performance. Make sure…

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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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