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Wet spring causes weed challenges

The wet spring is causing weed pressure concerns.

Central Illinois farmer Elliott Uphoff says many fields still need to be worked prior to planting.  

“Some of that fall chemical is breaking pretty hard right now.”  He says, “I think we’re still able to get field cultivators through our stuff that’s going to corn. Now the corn stalks that weren’t sprayed. Yes, they’re weedy.”

He says the delays mean some fields must be planted first, and the weeds dealt with after.

“We did that three years ago, I think.”  He says, “We planted some beans end of May and they ended up making 70 plus bushels and we just straight up no-tilled them into the weeds and then sprayed the weeds. It looks ugly for a couple weeks but hoping we can get away with it again.”

Lucas Roney, who also farms in central Illinois, tells Brownfield this year’s fight with winter annual weeds has him considering a fall burndown.

“I’m always trying to keep my expenses down and I think, well, if we don’t need it in the spring then I’d hate to go spend the money.”  He says, “But in a year like this, it sure looks like it was a smart move for all the people that put that down in the fall.”

Roney says cleaner fields in the spring would allow him to better utilize narrower planting windows.

The latest USDA weekly crop progress report showed Illinois corn planting is 22% behind last year, while soybeans are 25% behind 2023.  Corn planting is 4% behind the five-year average, while soybeans are actually 2% ahead of the average. 

AUDIO: Lucas Roney – Moultrie County, IL farmer

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