Prepare Your Post-Planting Checklist

Check the performance of your planter, starter fertilizer and early season weed control, and make preparations for effective sidedressing

If the weather has cooperated and you’ve avoided equipment breakdowns, hopefully your crops are in the ground.

As soon as you’re done planting and the crop has emerged, scout your fields. Look for early season seeding pests like cutworms and wireworms and check out your planter and starter performance.

With the early spring weather throughout much of the Midwest, weeds may be off to a fast start and may require earlier herbicide applications so crop yields don’t suffer from weed competition.

Nitrogen sidedressing may need to be moved up to make sure the crop has enough nitrogen to achieve its yield potential.

Planter Settings

Look for differences across rows to determine if any row units or attachments didn’t perform well.

Dig up seedlings and note how their depth compares to your planter settings. This can improve your ability to adjust the planter next season and give you confidence that you’ve set it correctly.

Starter Fertilizer

Observe seedling color and root structure to determine if starter fertilizer or other fertility programs are working. Plant color and health should reveal any nutrient deficiencies.

Check seedling for root burn and determine whether fertilizer was placed correctly and has enhanced the crop. As with planting units, make sure the crop’s progress is uniform to see if your fertilizer system is performing ideally across all row units or other implements used to apply fertilizer.

Weed Control

Many weeds that usually emerge later may show up early due to warmer temperatures. Be prepared to move up…

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Jim Leverich

Jim Leverich no-tills near Sparta, Wis., and serves as an onfarm research coordinator for the University of Wisconsin.

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