Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Diary Of A Pest

What are the worst pests on your farm?  Marestail continues to be my worst pest with pigweed, Giant Ragweed and foxtail close behind.  Here is an interesting piece on the main pests in the Northeast called Diary of a Pest.

Fortunately, weeds are my worst problem.  I don't have much trouble with insects or disease.  I credit my crop rotation, my soil health and fertility for that.  Weeds love that environment too, though, so I am always battling weeds.  Last year most fields got sprayed 4 times just to control the weeds.  I can't stand weeds, especially in no-till with no cultivation of the soil.

Maybe this is why Bt corn or traits never paid for me?  LL soybeans was the most successful GMO I ever planted but the cost was more than my non GMO soybeans which I was able to sell at an even better price.

What's the worst pest on your farm?  Besides the Marestail and Giant Ragweed and pigweed, we have areas of poison hemlock and now Johnsongrass on the new farm that really need close attention.  Our Kawasaki Mule and tank sprayer get a good workout.

Still, I feel I need to spray herbicides all four seasons or four times per year.  That's hard to do when you depend on cover crops like I do.  Cover crops can make up for that one spray if I get a good seeding.  Most herbicides are only good for 30 days or so, so I depend on some kind of canopy to control them the rest of the year.

Speaking of diaries, a good set of records help me see what I have done and what I need to do.  I need them for safety reasons anyway, but they are more valuable to look back and see where we have been and where we are going.

How about you?



  1. Waterhemp and waterhemp....try some prowl for your foxtail...full rate..

    When it comes to chems preach the pre's, post spray at 21 days after emergence, and pay the preacher for a quick canopy.

  2. Wheat midge has cost me a lot of money in yield and quality. Most guys spray for it but I don't. Canola can really suffer damage from Diamondback moths , Bertha Army Worms but I have never sprayed for them either and have not had too much damage. Grasshoppers can be bad in a dry year but again, never sprayed for them. I hate to use an insecticide. Dangerous for people and all the beneficial insects as well.