Hurry up and wait?

There’s lots of talk of another late spring in the Peninsula. But is it really? The 14-day forecast is looking pretty good… Besides, a late(r) spring than the rest of the province is a normal in Haldimand/Niagara. Here’s a refresher as to what last year’s late spring taught us:

  1. Be Patient – June 1 corn had some of the best emergence in 2017. Yes, we relied heavily on the good fall weather but it still fared better than the early May corn, much of which got replanted.
  2. Soil Condition Trumps All – I cannot stress this enough. Planting into fit soil is a key component of a successful crop. Working wet ground makes for an awful seed bed, and you cannot undo the damage done to a seed bed once it has dried out into the rock like aggregates we saw last year (see photo above).
  3. Plant Now, Spray Later is a Foolish Plan – Why? Uncontrolled weeds in the early growing stages of corn and soybean can easily take 5% of yield – that’s $25-50/ac on an average crop. And if you don’t like saving money think of it this way: weeds are easiest to kill when they are small. Wet weather slows us down from getting onto the fields and gives the weeds plenty of time to establish before seeding. After seeding, not only will you have bigger weeds you will have less options available to control them. You need to take advantage of pre-plant and pre-emerge weed control methods if you want to get your crop off to a good start. A pre-plant burndown with glyphosate and Eragon, 2,4-D or dicamba can be very effective. Add in a residual product such as Boundary or Canopy Pro to save yourself a second pass.
  4. Be Ready –The last thing you need is to have that perfect day come along and be unprepared for it. Get your chemical on farm. Have your equipment tuned up. And most importantly, make priorities. Know what you need to get done so that when the time comes to make decisions, you don’t have waste any time.

So, hurry up and wait? Patience and preparation, I say. We’ll be rolling in the field before you know it!

This Crop Corner has been written by Johanna Lindeboom,  CCA, Sales Agronomist at Clark Agri Service. Johanna can be reached by email: jlindeboom@clarkagriservice.com or by phone 289-925-6828