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Planning now will help with Weed Control next Year

Conditions have been mostly favorable for crops throughout the growing season this year, however this also means that the setting is ripe for unwanted plant growth, meaning weeds are escaping earlier control methods. Little can be done at this point until after harvest, but doing some preparation now may make life easier for next year. In areas where herbicides can still be applied, such as ditch banks and roadsides, control may still be warranted as this year’s weed will produce next years weed seed. For fields, it is a good idea to scout fields right now and make notes and sketch maps of where weeds are present to help jog your memory a few months from now as you establish a weed management program for 2021.

It is also important to ask yourself a few questions: Did weeds escape because they are resistant to the herbicides used?  Was it due to poor coverage? Did the seeds get spread in a swath behind the combine? If there is a lot of volunteer corn in the field, did the corn pass through the combine, or was it the result of some downed corn or stalk rots? It is becoming clear that herbicides alone (either existing or new chemistry) will not provide us all the answers to our weed management issues. Selecting herbicides with different modes of action, understanding weed biology and how seeds move from location to location, and using mechanical methods to control weeds all are part of the toolbox to keep the weeds at bay.

Another important aspect of managing the spread of weed seed is cleaning field equipment, particularly the combine. Harvesting weed seed is inevitable, but remember that a combine can act to spread that seed around the entire farm, so cleaning it between fields or harvesting the weediest fields last will help in future seasons. Some weeds, for instance Palmer amaranth, can produce up to 1 million seeds per plant, so it is not a stretch to foresee a serious problem if one catches a ride in a combine.

WHIN Group Seeks Input on Area Internet Challenges

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted numerous deficiencies in the way we function, one of the most notable in our area is the lack of broadband internet access, as people attempted remote work and e-learning these past few months. The Wabash Heartland Innovation Network (WHIN) is working to address this and would like to hear from you regarding your experience with internet access during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please consider taking a moment to fill out the survey below to let them know your experiences: https://purdue.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8kT4Ss4W4qCGyzz If you are having trouble with the link please reach out to me at awestfal@purdue.edu and I will forward you the information.

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