A combination of planting delays and tight profit margins has many growers asking if they can make cuts in their weed control program this year without cutting yields. While making cuts in your weed control program by purchasing less product or lower cost products is tempting, there are dangers along the way. Purdue weed specialist Bill Johnson says, for example, if soybean growers want to try and cut the cost of their broad spectrum soybean herbicide, it can be done; but he urges caution, “You can cut the number of active ingredients in a herbicide to save some money, but you need to know what weeds you have so you don’t give up control of those weeds.” He told HAT this approach requires the farmer to have a very good idea what weed species he will be facing this year.
Tillage is another way to control weeds rather than chemicals, but Johnson warns in the latest Better Farming video that vertical tillage is not a good weed control method, “Vertical tillage has a log of advantages like breaking up the hardpan, but it does not stir up the soil enough to be thought of as a weed control method.” Jim Minter with the Purdue Center for Commercial Ag warns producers not to make cuts in their weed control program at the risk of lowering yields.
Watch our latest Better Farming video on cutting weed control costs without cutting yields, at the Hoosier Ag Today web site and YouTube Channel. The Better Farming series is made possible by the Indiana Soybean Checkoff.