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Weather impacting planting progress, herbicide applications

An agronomist says the varying rain amounts have some farmers planting and others waiting.  Aricka Wech with Pioneer is in southwestern Wisconsin, and says some of her farmers are planting and others are waiting for good soil conditions. “Some parts of my area in southwestern Wisconsin have received nearly five inches of rain total with some pretty intense pounding rains that have prevented folks fieldwork up until the last couple of days, while others have received less than an inch.”

Wech tells Brownfield it may take a while for soil conditions to improve for some fields. “Growers are just going to need to take advantage of when there is a planting window, yet also remain patient after maybe some of these rain events before returning to the field.”

Wech says it’s too early for most farmers to look at changing to shorter-season corn varieties, as most full-season varieties will still perform best, even if planted later in May.  “We stll have plenty of time. We know that corn planted on May 20th even can still produce pretty impressive yields, but corn planted even a day too early before it (soil) is truly fit can can cost us tremendously.”

She says whether it’s corn or soybeans, plant the fields with the fittest soil first.

Wech also tells Brownfield farmers might be focused on planting, but the weeds had a head start and there won’t be much time after planting to control them. “We need to make sure we have that sprayer with your pre-emerge soybean program following right behind that planter, because with these warm temps that look to be in the forecast for the next seven to ten days, these soybeans are going to emerge quick.”

Wech says the frequent wind and rain events have led to many fields waiting for an herbicide application, and planting soybeans between rainy periods can let application windows close quickly. “Be sure we’re watching our fields closely for that soybean cracking, or when soybeans start to crack through the soil and that hypocotyl is exposed, so if we see that, we do not want to be planning herbicide applications of those Group 14’s at that time or any other herbicide that has a cracking restriction.”

Wech says farmers should review the herbicide labels if there are any doubts about when to apply them.

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