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Four Considerations for the 2016 Growing Season

With the clock ticking down quickly to planting, it won’t be long until the 2016 growing season is underway. Here are four things to keep in mind as you plan for the growing season.

Monitor fungal diseases 

 “We’re coming of 2015, a year where there was tremendous disease pressure,” says Ryan Grable, a Channel seedsman from Troy, Kansas. “In the corn crop, that’s something definitely to keep an eye on through field scouting.”

Hybrids that resist fungal diseases are one preventative step farmers can take to manage fungal diseases like gray leaf spot and northern corn leaf blight. Fungicides are another in-season management tool. 

Be aware of Goss’s wilt 

“Six years ago, no one had ever seen Goss’s wilt in our area,” says Grable. Three or four years ago, though, this bacterial disease began to surface, coming and going between years. Currently, hybrid resistance to Goss’s wilt is the best way to deal with it, along with rotating away from corn in problem fields.

Stick with full herbicide rates

Cut, cut, cut. That’s what everyone is thinking, considering 2016’s tight margins. With this mindset, it’s easy to think about applying less-than-full herbicide rates. 

Don’t. “There’s a reason for label rates,” says Chris Reat, FMC segment manager for FMC. 

Full label rates give the best efficacy for controlling weeds. Cut rates, and you risk less-than-stellar weed control. Cutting rates also raises the specter of herbicide-resistant weed biotypes escaping and setting seed that can spread in subsequent years.  

Don’t just toss seeded waterhemp plants 

Those stray and scattered waterhemp plants that pop up prior to harvest may be herbicide-resistant ones. Rouging them can nix the possibility that seed will pass through your combine at harvest and germinate the next year. 

Just make sure, though, that you just don’t toss the waterhemp plants aside in the field if they contain seed. Viable seed can germinate the next year, says Joel Wipperfurth, Winfield ag technology applications lead.  Instead, pull those seeded plants and remove them from the field. 

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