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All in one pass?

Agriculture.com Staff 03/03/2011 @ 9:18am

Have you seen diesel prices lately? Ouch.

With prices around the $4/gallon range, now's a good time to think about ways to get everything applied in your fields in one pass.

"Every pass across the field adds an expense, and the expense comes in terms of the operator's time involved, the fuel to manage the equipment and the cost of the equipment. So, anytime you're reducing a pass across the field, you’re reducing expenses," says Bruce Erickson, director of cropping systems management with the Purdue University Department of Ag Economics in a report from Bayer CropScience.

The cost savings of a one-pass system come in several ways, adds Illinois farmer Bryan Henrichs.

"You only have one application cost and you're not coming back in and running through the crops with a sprayer," Henrichs says in a Bayer report. "It saves you a lot of time. It might cost a little more money up front, but we don’t have to spray a second time. I don't think we have ever had to come back and respray a Corvus field for weeds."

Bayer makes the Corvus pre-emergence one-pass corn herbicide, a product that company officials say helps farmers meet the growing need to get the weed protection they need in one trip through the field.

"Since [Corvus'] introduction, more and more growers have found that the unique herbicide creates a one pass zone that helps them to save time, labor and costs that they weren't able to save with previous herbicide programs," says Bayer marketing manager Jeff Springsteen.

But, make sure that you're not using a one-pass system just for the sake of saving fuel. Make sure it's getting the job done, advises Erickson. "[Expense] needs to be balanced with the effectiveness of the one pass versus the additional pass across the field. If you can control [weeds] with one pass, then you've cut your application expenses in half."

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