Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cleaning up the Cornfields

This morning I took a tractor for a spin through a cornfield, driving down the rows while spraying glyphosate (RoundUp) to kill weeds. We have broadleaf signalgrass pretty much everywhere, with spots of johnsongrass, cucklebur, and morning glory scattered here and there. All of these weeds compete for the same moisture and nutrients that our corn needs, so by killing them we expect our corn to be more productive and ultimately provide more nutrition for our cows.

Our method of spraying our corn isn't terribly fast or efficient. We're using a three-point hitch sprayer assembly with a 200 gallon tank and a 12 foot (4 row) boom. We have a spray wagon with a 300 gallon tank and 30 foot-wide coverage that we typically use for all other applications, but its tires are likely to down an unacceptable amount of corn as we pull it across our curvy, terraced fields. It sure would be nice to have a high-boy sprayer, but I don't our less-than-200 acres of cropland is quite enough to justify buying one of those babies!

If you'd like to take a look at our fields and see the contrast between where we got partial and no control with our pre-emerge application, you can do so in our latest MooTube Minute.

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