Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Western Ohio Agronomy Day

I attended the Western Ohio Agronomy Day yesterday in Ft. Loramie, Ohio, a little town on the west side of Shelby County. The place was packed and it was good to see some of my old friends in the large attendance.

The topics varied from soil microbes to resistant weeds to crop insects. The presentations were good and they were timely. I really didn't learn a thing I didn't already know but I got my attention focused to a few important things.

Probably the simplest but one of the most important topics was about the qualities of our spray water. I didn't care for Dr. Whitford's teaching style, but he sure had good information. He was in your face, calling you out to answer questions which I found quite annoying but it did keep people attentive.

The answer is most pesticides work best in a pH of 4-7 and most water is 7-9. It pays to acidify your water, which I do. The exception is DuPont herbicides in the sulfonylurea class that work best in high pH's, just like the herbicide does in the soil. In fact the better your soil pH is for growing crops, the longer those herbicides last in your soil. Carryover becomes a concern.

I've shared more about weed resistance on these blogs than you would have learned yesterday but the message is timely, it is good, and it is important. More farms are having more resistant weeds each year. That is except for one, I met my first farmer who could truthfully say he doesn't have any resistant weeds on his farm! He is also one of the best consultants in the state and practices what he preaches. He sprays winter, spring, summer and fall. He has no weeds!

Corn borers and rootworms resistant to genetic events were discussed so that VT3 you have been planting may also need a complete soil insecticide just as if you were growing non GMO or conventional corn 20 years ago. Nature adapts quickly. Like my friend with no weeds I have no need for GM corn because I have none of these bugs, I rotate my crops in an area most farmers do the same thing.

The meeting was held at a beautiful Catholic Church and those are prominent in Western Ohio. It was almost too nice to be indoors but it was a good meeting.


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