1. Be sure your sprayer is tuned up and in great working condition for accurate application this spring. With planting delayed for many farmers, now is a good time to go over your sprayer, checking for mechanical problems, cleaning the tank and nozzles and checking the agitator.
Sprayers should be calibrated several times a year. Changes in operating conditions and the type of chemical used require a new calibration. Frequent calibration is even more important with liquid application because nozzles wear out with use, increasing the flow rate.
2. Nitrogen shipments may be delayed this spring due to a delay in river thaw this spring. For those who don’t have access to all the nutrients they need, now is a good time to take another look at nitrogen management.
“Getting a portion of the nitrogen applied at planting and using top dress or sidedress nitrogen applications for the balance of nitrogen needs have been shown to be very effective and efficient management tools," says Anthony Bly, South Dakota State University.
3. Would you believe that the corn ears from plants emerging on Day 1 would be 13% fatter than the corn ears from Day-2-emerged corn? That’s exactly what played out at Watson Farms, Villa Grove, Ill., last year on a test of a 40-ft. section of one row. You could say the Watsons’ corn stood the test of time.
4. Are you aware of resistant weeds in your corn or soybean fields. If you are, what are you changing about your management strategy to combat those weeds? Iowa State University surveyed farmers about herbicide resistance awareness and management.
Farmers' willingness to modify weed management was generally directly related to their awareness of herbicide resistance; greater awareness of the problem resulted in adjustments to weed management. However, only 60 percent of the growers who farmed greater than 5,000 acres reported that they modified weed management programs despite a 70 percent awareness.
5. Farmer Derek posted a parody of Pharrell’s “Happy” on YouTube. The farmer’s version, “#WeAreFarming” is just as catchy and features selfies and videos from farmers and farm events around the world. Watch and enjoy on YouTube. (And just try to keep from dancing in your seat!)