Monday, February 27, 2012


That's a deep subject! The weather is more spring than winter this morning so I am anxious to get back outside. My contacts have already ranged from Nova Scotia to Indiana to Missouri this morning and my head hurts already.

One of the many subjects we talked about this morning was about acidifying spray tank water. I try to do that with glyphosate and glufosinate and had good results doing that with Gramoxone last spring. Last spring was almost summer as our planting time came in June with 90 degree heat and wind drying out the soggy ground quickly.

I put 50 lbs of dry citric acid into each 1250 or so gallon spray tank of water on the semi trailer that will be pumped into the sprayer. A bag of citric acid is under ten dollars, my cost. Then we add the 17 lbs per gallon of AMS per label directions, then the chemicals last. Many pesticides like Round Up and most insecticides work best in water of around 5 pH. Farmers lose a lot of efficiency when they don't follow these simple recommendations for water tank chemistry.

Pesticides that work best in acidified water are neutralized when they are added to high pH water. The amount of reduction of efficiency goes up with the water pH. This You Tube intoduces you to what I am talking about in the first link above.. Warning, that first link is a 9 MB PDF download from Purdue University.

I need to send samples from my various water sources to the lab so I can get a handle on what pH and mineral content my water has and how much I am affecting them with my practices. Most county or municipal labs will do that for you without charge but be careful you don't get your drinking well water barred from use! Here is another big link to water testing results from the Ohio River Watershed.

Today's picture is an abondoned well on one of our farms. It would make a good place to develop a spray water source but I have no idea about how deep the well is or how much it produced. Probably not a good idea but you know me, I am curious.


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