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Honored Advisor

Herbicide research & no-til

Our crop consultant and I have found a subject of disagreement.  We're are old and dear friends so it is basically a sharing of views.

I'll give you the basics to lead into the questions-------------

Our consultant is extremely concerned with the struggle our area is having killing Kochia weed.  It is a traditionally hard to kill weed that has a hairy surface and if you don't spray it in proper weather conditions you might just stunt it.  Stunted it smiles and moves in with you for the year.  Chemically stunted, you can't kill it with a 4 lb hammer the rest of the year.  Since we are in a drought the proper conditions are rare. ----- (I promise I am getting as tired of mentioning it as you are of reading about it---but as long as it persists in the west you are only a jet stream shift away from sharing it with us.)

My consultant, as he should, is studying the research that is showing Kochia to be gaining resistance to our current chemical choices and is trying to develop new approaches, which unfortunately, contain the same herbicides we have been using on this weed for nearly 50 years----  I on the other hand am documenting the problems we have to applications we made a week late, in too dry conditions, afternoon applications in 95+ degree heat---- and realizing ideal conditions for application have been rare in the last couple of years. 

 

  Since there has been so little new chemistry, laws restricting levels of some chemicals to ineffective,  documented resistance to glyphosate and other standard chemicals at an increasing rate,  will the no-til and minimum tillage programs that have become so popular be able to survive???   Can cover crop usage work if the cover crops can't be controlled chemically??

 

 

 

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8 Replies
Advisor

Re: Herbicide research & no-til

I wonder the same thing. Covers that winter kill would be a good choice BUT, last fall so dry the radishes did not grow. Found out the seeds will survive the winter, they are all growing now! Read an article about killing covers with a roller before planting, no chemical required. Also could go back to what we did as kids, walk the fields and pull weeds. Of course this means work, have you tried to find help to bale lately? We as a society are getting very lazy IMHO. Maybe robots that can scout 24/7 to remove problem weeds.
Bottom line, I think it will survive and technology will be there to ensure that.
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Honored Advisor

Re: Herbicide research & no-til

Don't want any one to get mad.

 

The short answer is that unless the coming down the pipeline RNA disruptive herbicides don't work or become that Franken-cide thing the greenies worry about the large farmers and notillers are SCREWED.

 

The old fashioned "steel" herbicide will be the only tool left in the tool box.

 

I went to a meeting a year and a half ago. The bottom line according to the speaker at that meeting was that weed resistance is coming to a field near you and quit cutting up those old row crop cultivators in the fence rows.

 

Glyphos resistant weeds showed up here last year. Took a first pass of 48+ oz and a follow up of 32 oz of glyphos to get control. The idiots in the area that refused to do that grew a decent crop of weeds that will benifit us all for years to come.

 

Resistance has been moving at 50 miles a year from the south and from the west and got here last year.

 

Too many years of cheating on the rate AND not using enough gallons of water per acre.

 

BTW 'ol Ma Nature has a way of surviving.

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Senior Advisor

Re: Herbicide research & no-til

Funny this subject comes up -- reason -- I just had a nice talk on thissame subject last week with a farmer from Hill City ( ses ) hobby 

 

Anyway sw  -   in my book -- there are many reasons for the fire weed problem --- most  is lack of moisture , say the plant is only ?  like 4  to 6 inchs tall -- because the ground is ?? lets use --- less moist -- the plant is short -- but the root system may have a root 3 foot deep -- looking for - more moist soil - - you spray or apply for what looks like a young plant but it's more like a mid summer plant =  just not enough chemical to kill it .

 

As you say - lack of good timing to spray -- weeds are just like corn , milo or beans , when they re under stress , they go on the defense -- and simply just won't suck up the chemical , then throw in the fuzzy leafs .

 

Now my 2 cents -- lol -- I would probably dig up the root system and just see about what maturity plant I am dealing with .

Then try and spray at a less than stress condition -- like early in the morning  or at night when the plant relaxes alittle -- spraying in 95 heat is the same here -- might as well sit at home and play with yourself --- it just won't work .

 

Fuzzy leafs ????  up gallons or use the same but use higher pressure and use --- say a AI nozzle that shots straight down and try and force it threw the fuzzes . How about adding a MSO or Crop oil ? It will help ---stick it and will not evaporate as quick .

 

I think to win this war -- you will need to change how you use to do it -- app . or timeing -- but then again ,  good rain would go along way .

 

Good luck ! 

 

Ken

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Senior Advisor

Re: Herbicide research & no-til

You guys are scaring the hell out of me. I completely switched to no-till 2 years ago, and am starting to actually get a handle on my chemical program. If I lived in a area that received 40"+ moisture annually, I would have no problem dragging the tillage equipment out again. Being from an area that receives roughly 20" on an annual basis, it is hard to reduce erosion and evaporation while doing tillage. There are still more conventional tillage than no-tillers, but take a drive in the country and you can pick almost every winter wheat field that was conv tilled vs no-tilled. The no-till wheat established itself last fall where the conv tillage was mainly 1-2 inches tall. Luckily we've had a wet Feb - April and it has closed the gap. Probably 85% of the conventional tillers in this area no-till their milo directly into wheat stubble, but after that it is worked and the rotation starts over.

SW, I was in the same situation as you are. When I returned to the farm a few years back my dad and granddad were using Gly, 2,4-D, and Dicamba. If that didn't kill it, it just didn't get killed. We actually did a lot of cultivating of row crops back then. My agronomist has me using chemicals that I've never heard of before, but I'm learning. Timing is a big part of the program as well. I applied residual control herbicide on every acre with the exception of one 26 acre field last fall and it shows this spring. I learned a valuable lesson on fall application and the following years weed control program. The trick with this is finding the correct chemical to apply that leaves the window open to several crops, the agronomist is very helpful in this department.

The cover crop question I've got no experience with. I planted 50 acres of oats, forage peas and tillage radishes this spring but was just as much for a hay crop as a cover crop. I'm wanting to get back in the cattle business so that is the reason for the cover crop blend. But I am planning a few acres if time allows this fall. I might even try some into a wheat stubble patch or two around late July or early August. I will keep notes and see if it's worth it in this area. This is for soil building, I've got a few farms that are extremely low on OM according to my soil test results and would like to speed up the building process if that is possible. Great post, probably one of the better topics in this forum in a while.
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Honored Advisor

Re: Herbicide research & no-til

Shaggy the educated answer I got, in this case, was to apply 24d and atrazine in early march---- the proverbial "pre-emtive strike".  

That is not new chemistry but it is new timing-- getting to the plant as early as possible.---ecin's point.

As dry as we are-- on dry land, that would wipe out rotation to anything but milo or corn for at least 2 years.  On irrigated there would be a loss of rotation to wheat or soybeans for nearly the same amount of time---- and still be marginally effective.  And the government restrictions on atrazine usage renders it illegal or moderately effective.   We had the claim of atrazine resistance in Kochia years ago.  If that is our only option we are in trouble.---------- side note-- we are very low in organic matter --- that curbs a lot of chemistry for us---- if you want to raise a crop that year.  Some of the new stuff used in NC KS is lethal to crops here for that reason.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Herbicide research & no-til

I like the idea of doing your own research and keeping notes. Never know when you will stumble across something that may save lots of money. BTW if someone was to discover a secret, who would you guys share it with?
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Senior Advisor

Re: Herbicide research & no-til

SW, are you referring to rotation restrictions that are posted on the labels? If so, I take those with a grain of salt and conduct my own germination tests. My best looking field of winter wheat had 2# of atrazine applied during the previous 18 months or so. The labels told me absolutely not, but my germination tests said there wasn't a problem. This is where I rely on my crop consultant, and so far he has been spot on.
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Re: Herbicide research & no-til

I've not had to deal w kochia ever, but...
W conv chemistry you def need tO be early or they don't work. Some people can wrongly count a unifoliate as a true leaf when it isn't and timings bad.

Get your states spray book and study it. This problems sounds like a penetration and adhesion problem as well: make sure spray droplet siZes are good and surfactants used.

Otherwise: you could plant narrow 7.5" beans/wheat to suppress weeds.

Also, be careful if your not following rotation restrictions and grow food crops: they test dry edibles and ip sous here and we are mindful of residues in food grade crops.