Benefits of Scouting Fields Before Planting Corn

Weeds can become a major problem in crop production when not controlled prior to planting. This is especially important in no-till systems. Weeds emerging in late summer through fall can overwinter and flower to set seed in the spring and early summer. Identifying weeds before planting corn can be difficult, especially if plants are in the rosette state of development. But putting a little time and effort into killing them now is the easiest and most effective weed control you will do all year.

Scouting fields before planting can identify what weeds are present, their population and their growth stages. This information helps to determine what management practices and herbicides would be most effective for protecting the upcoming crop prior to planting and after establishment. 

Good weed control during the first four to six weeks after planting is critical for maintaining yield potential. A clean start helps to conserve moisture for the crop, promote good seed-to-soil contact and helps prevent weeds from binding up planters. 

Using the field scouting application in Climate FieldView™ provides a fast and easy way to drop a pin where weeds have emerged. Going straight to these spots for spraying can save time and money.

Considerations for No-Till Systems 

Winter annual weeds have become a larger problem in no-till fields due to the limited use of soil residual herbicides and the reliance on post emergence weed control associated with planting herbicide-resistant crops. Marestail has become a difficult to control weed for no-till fields because there are many populations that are glyphosate-resistant. It is important to control Marestail when it is small, which can require control as soon as equipment can enter the field. 

Plant debris in no-till fields can provide overwinter protection for germinated weeds, increasing weed populations. Fields that have been in no-till production for a few years may have a few scattered patches of weeds, which may not seem economically important to control. However, these patches may have enough time to seed out before a burndown application is made, creating problems in subsequent years. 

Stay safe and healthy during this upcoming planting season. You are an integral part of the best business in the world; American agriculture. Thank you for all you do.