Plan B Maybe Plan C
Experiencing a spring like this requires farmers to make a number of very important decisions quickly. You know the field is not as dry as you would like. You look at the forecast for more rain, the calander, and you have to decide to plant in less than ideal conditions and hope for the best or wait. Should you plant beans or till another field before the weeds get so big you can not take them out with a field cultivator?
I was scheduled to plant sweetcorn late in May. The field had not been worked yet this spring because I was intent on getting the corn and beans planted. Driving to the fields I looked at the soon to be sweetcorn field and saw the weeds getting larger every day! Sure, I would have liked to get the field tilled and taken out the weeds before they got too big. However, if they got too big I had a Plan B.
Well the weeds did get too big to take them out with a field cultivator so I needed to consider a "burn down" herbicide application. I was planning on using Glyphosate and 2-D Ester. The combination was inexpensive and very effective at killing grasses and broadleaf weeds like giant ragweed and lambsquarters. In the picture you can see the giant ragweed over a foot tall!
Before I sprayed the field it occurred to me to doublecheck the label on the pesticide and the information on herbicide restrictions I received for Birds-Eye-Foods. I almost had to go to Plan C. The restrictions said I could apply 2-D to a sweetcorn field up to 7 days before planting! I called Joel my agronomist with Birds-Eye-Foods to see when I was scheduled to plant sweetcorn? Joel said a week to 10 days yet.
I got lucky again and quickly sprayed the field on Saturday. If I could not have used 2-4 D we would have come up with a Plan C. We did not know what that was, but we would have come up with one! Not following label directions could have damaged the sweetcorn or Birds-Eye-Foods may have had to abandon the field!