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Just Around The Corner print email

Dale Springfield
Springfield Ag Service
Jackson, Tenn.

All in all, I’ve been working in West Tennessee (Haywood and surrounding counties) as an independent consultant since 2000. I started out working primarily in cotton, but as acres shifted, I attempted to do so as well. Currently, we are working with cotton, corn, wheat and soybeans. Most of the land in our area is rolling with limited irrigation.

Just like many other areas in the Cotton Belt, glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth and tarnished plant bugs have become two of the primary problems that producers in West Tennessee are having to deal with more and more each year.

The 2012 growing season is just around the corner. There are a few things that can be addressed now to improve our management of these two pests with little, to no, additional cost.

Primarily due to Palmer amaranth, every producer is now using multiple residual materials during the growing season. Because of minimal irrigation, timely activation of overlapping residual materials often presents a problem over which we have no control.

One area where we have been losing the battle that we do have control over is field borders and turnrows. Oftentimes, the first resistant pigweeds can be seen next to turnrows, field borders or small spots that are not planted in a field.

The border effect can be improved easily by not planting so close up to the edge of the field, allowing that area to be clipped or sprayed. The problem with resistant pigweeds in unplanted spots can be improved by taking a little extra time during planting to ensure that the entire acreage is planted. Canopy closure is a cheap means of weed control, and planting an entire area is a good way to utilize this option.

If our residuals fail and Palmer amaranth emerge, timing is critical due to how fast the weed grows. If you have to get your directing rig ready at this point, the application may be too late to achieve adequate control. Since planting season is just around the corner, calibrating your directing rig now would be time well spent. Or, make it a priority to do that before hooking to the planter.

Keep in mind while calibrating the directing rig that it needs to be set up to handle an EC-type material (Caparol, Direx, etc.). This can typically be accomplished by adjusting the screen size. Whether or not to run a directing rig is no longer a question. The only question now is when do I start running it and how fast can I get over the field with it.

Another problem of increasing concern that is just around the corner is the tarnished plant bug. In this area, tarnished plant bug has been a pest that we have had to manage for years. With the recent increase in corn acreage, it has become more of a challenge. Minimizing cotton bordering corn may help reduce treatment intervals for this pest.

Click here to ask Dale Springfield a question or submit a comment about this month’s Cotton Consultant’s Corner.

• B.S. in Agronomy – Mississippi State University
• Certified Crop Advisor since 1999
• Independent crop consultant
• Established Springfield Ag Service in 2000
• Consults on cotton, corn, wheat and soybeans
• Married to wife Laura for 11 years. Three children:
Aaron, Alex and Thad
• Enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time with the family

Recap:
Just Around The Corner

1. Glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth and tarnished plant bugs are two of the primary problems that producers are faced with
in West Tennessee.

2. To help control Palmer amaranth, producers are now using multiple residual materials during the growing season.

3. Because of minimal irrigation, timely activation of overlapping residual materials often presents a problem.

4. Many times, the first resistant pigweeds can be seen next to turnrows, small spots that are not planted in a field or field borders.

5. Don’t plant so close to the edge of the field so the borders can be clipped or sprayed. Also be sure to plant the entire acreage.

6. Consider calibrating your directing rig now. Adjusting the screen size can help set it up to handle an EC-type material.

7. Minimizing cotton bordering corn may help reduce treatment intervals for the tarnished plant bug.

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