Tony Reinsch discusses his thoughts on an effective weed management program.
Q: What are your thoughts on fall weed control?
I see with the resistant weeds that we have and the problem weeds that we have, I like to see people using a fall burndown. Timing is critical, because after harvest is over you only have so much time before it starts to freeze. But have a plan in place and execute that plan immediately as soon as the crops come out. Whether you are going into soybeans next year or you are going into corn next year, I love to see a fall burndown.
Q: What type of spring weed control program do you like?
I am both sides of the fence on this one. I see people go pre-emergent. I see people go pre-plant. I see people go with a total post-emerge program. The one thing I don’t like about the total post-emerge program is that you put all of your eggs in one basket. If the weather turns to crap on you, then all of a sudden you’re scrambling to figure out how you are going to kill two-foot tall weeds.
A good pre-plant or pre-emerge followed by a post-emerge application is my favorite program to go with. You put a little bit down ahead of time, then when the corn or soybeans get high enough and the weeds start to grow, you know exactly where the weed escapes were. You can go out there and know which weeds they are too. So a pre-emerge followed by a post-emerge is my favorite.
Q: What role does soil health play in weed pressure and control?
On soil health, anytime the soil is healthier – you are always going to have weeds because the seeds can lay dormant for 30-some years. Most weed seeds can. But a good soil health and soil fertility program will jump-start that corn plant, that soybean plant, that wheat plant, or whatever you are growing out there.
You always want to make sure you have good soil health. That could be the microbes, that could be the fertility. That could be the pH. Many different factors go into that soil health. So make sure you start with a good soil health and understand your soils. Take time to look at your soil samples and understand the fertility products that you are putting out there.
On the money you are spending on that fertilizer, are you getting the bang for the buck? You want to make sure because fertilizer isn’t cheap. If you aren’t getting the bang for the buck you need to rethink what you are doing out there.
But back on soil health, no matter where your soil is located you can always fine-tune your soil to make it better. You can take some of the worst soil and nurse it back to health. Maybe you have some highly productive soil. Okay, look at that highly productive soil and make sure doing everything to keep that soil producing high-yielding crops.