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Consider a Field’s History and Future Before Making Seed Decisions

If you don’t, your next crop may be haunted by goblins like herbicide carryover.

Thinking about buying seed for 2017? Be sure you consider your field history and think about your future crop rotation, says Sara Berg, South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension agronomy field specialist.

“Many seed suppliers have already begun promoting ‘early bird’ incentives on next year’s seed purchases,” she says. “We all like a good deal when we see one, however, when it comes to seed purchases, don’t buy on impulse.”

Factors to consider include:

1. Field History

Lagging grain markets over the past several months may prompt farmers to change their field rotation by adding a crop or trying out a cover crop. “This may be a great choice for the agronomics of your farm, but don’t forget to double-check your field history before selecting a cover crop,” Berg says.

2. Rotation Restrictions

Many herbicides have rotation restrictions following application. A herbicide label will state if the product has a restriction.

For example, adding oats as a third crop to an existing corn-soybean rotation is great from a soil health and diverse plant environment aspect. However, an 18-month rotation restriction for a fomasafen product like Flexstar before oats is planted exists.

“A failure to realize this before an oat crop is planted could be disastrous,” says Gared Shaffer, SDSU Extension weeds field specialist.

The same caution should be taken if a change in your herbicide program occurs as well.

Other Considerations

Many other factors should go into making rotation or chemical program changes. They include:

  • Disease potential.
  • Insect pressure.
  • Fertility needs.
  • Soil health.
  • Grazing impacts or restrictions.
  • Marketing and economics.


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