Spring Planting Decisions in August?

Larry Veith, Seed Specialist, Elgin (507) 923-5628

Where has the summer gone? It seems like just yesterday we were wondering if we were ever going to get into the field, and now we are already planning for harvest and yes, spring planting for 2019, or at least you should be.

Every year brings its’ own unique set of challenges, and it certainly seems like no two years are ever alike. Yet if we learn anything from all the uncertainty from year to year in raising and selling crops, feeding livestock, or milking cows, it is that we can never rest on what we did last year to get us through yet another challenging year. Every management decision we make should be reviewed and thought out carefully with your agronomist and seed specialist to make sure you are maximizing every dollar you spend in crop production.

Let me give you an example of how a decision made this year, or last year, can affect your crop, rotation and bottom line going forward. Randy Welch, the National Alfalfa Agronomist for Winfield recently shared with me some insights from what he sees as some alarming trends in alfalfa production. Randy said that in 2018, an estimated 50% of alfalfa fields he has walked in regards to poor stand establishment have been attributed to herbicide carryover from the previous year. He mentioned because we are rapidly changing our herbicide programs to respond to resistant weed species, specifically in soybeans but also in corn, we are seeing more and more carryover situations in contour strips as well as any area of overlap. (Please read Randy’s article on FALL Alfalfa Management, It is a MUST read for any alfalfa producer)

Liming and fertility are other areas that need to be addressed BEFORE a crop is planted, perhaps a year in advance or more. These are just a few of the examples that need to be considered, and it is never too early to begin assessing what went right this past year and what areas need to be addressed.

Seed traits in regards to herbicide tolerance is rapidly changing as well. According to our seed suppliers, this may be the last year we see the Round-Up Ready only trait in your soybean seed. This does not mean that Round-Up won’t be an option for your soybean weed control program, but rather it will LIKELY be stacked with other traits that will allow usage of other herbicides you are not currently using, such as Engina (Dicamba based), Liberty or perhaps 2, 4-D and others very shortly. Using any, some, or all of these products COULD have repercussions in your current or future cropping situations. That is why it is so important to be constantly reviewing your management practices, even in August of 2018 when planning for spring of 2019.

As always, we are dedicated to being a trusted partner who can and will walk you through the processes of your individual decision making to make sure you are successful in your operation.

We at All American Co-op appreciate your business and support. Enjoy the rest of your summer; fall will be here soon.

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