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“Waterhemp in Roundup Ready soybeans in Missouri wasn’t killed with the application of 176 fluid ounces per acre of Roundup...” — Ian Heap, International Survey of Herbicide-Resistant Weeds, Corvallis, Ore.
Putting out your own no-till test plots is definitely a paying proposition, says Jim Leverich. The Sparta, Wis., no-tiller says most no-tillers already have the equipment to effectively evaluate different hybrids and varieties, row spacing, plant populations, variable-rate fertilizer and seed application, compaction concerns, starter fertilizer, nitrogen placement and much more.
“You can’t effectively manage your no-till system without measurements that can help you make judgment calls,” Leverich says.
Although there are numerous methods for successfully no-tilling, Paul Jasa suggests a systems approach that strives for uniformity. This includes emphasis on seed spacing, row spacing, emergence, crop height, herbicide application and residue cover.
As an example, he says most residue concerns result from uneven spreading of stalks or straw and from row cleaners that move residue while creating uneven distribution. The uneven residue leads to differing soil temperatures and moisture levels across the field, leaving non-uniform conditions for seeds and uneven emergence.