Planning for 2013
I realize the planting season is months away, but now is the time to plan for 2013. Farmers have driven over every acre the past few months. Granted, much of what we saw was ugly, but some valuable information can still be gleaned, especially about weed control issues. Did you see any new weeds? Were there patches of weeds that you normally control, but didn’t last year? It’s too late to figure out why the herbicides didn’t work as expected. Likely the weather played a big role. Herbicide resistance could also be a factor. At worst, you should have an idea of the size of the weed seed bank that you will be facing this year, and this will help you plan a strategy for the next crop.
What will your next crop be? Did you get enough moisture last year to break down the herbicides used in 2012, so that they won’t carry over into the 2013 crop? Much will depend on the weather between now and spring. Continued dry weather this winter and another early spring might have an impact, as well as the type and rate of herbicide you used this past year.
Will the herbicide you want to use be available? Some shortages occurred in 2012. Inventory levels are low. Crop acres planted this year will be massive again in the US and expanding worldwide. Crop protection companies are global. Many are based outside the US. They will have to meet worldwide demand, not just ours, so you can expect to see some issues again in 2013.
So, what’s the solution to all these issues? Communication. Start talking to us now. Don’t wait until it’s time to go to the field. Have marestail issues last year? Did you use a fall burn-down? What kind of seed are you buying? Don’t plan a major herbicide program change with your seed dealer, then expect your chemical dealer to have what you need at the last minute. Now might be the last minute to order some products. Better planning this winter will make for a much easier 2013 crop year.