At the second day of the NDSU Extension Lake Region Round Up, I heard several tips on how to control dandelion and Canada thistle in cropland, push soybean yields to new yield heights and how to write a flexible cash rent that’s a winner for the landlord and the tenant.
Best spring dandelion control –Express plus glyphosatefor fields to be planted to corn or soybeans. Greg Andres, NDSU Extension agronomist, Carrington Research and Extension Center., says field should be sprayed 14 days before planting corn and soybeans. The tank mix will suppress dandelion for 3-4 months. Fall is the best time to hit dandelion. The most effective and most economical tank mix in the fall is glyphosate at ¾ pound active ingredient per acre and 2,4-D at 1 pint per acre. Glyphosate with Valor or Sharpen are also options.
Best Canada thistle killer – A new product called Perspective from DuPont. It’s not labeled yet, but when it is you’ll likely get near complete control for 1-2 years.
Best soybean practices – All the old ones. NDSU agronomists keep looking for something new that will increase soybean yields. But trials keep confirming that current recommendations are still the best. Plant about 150,000 seeds per acre; use 14 to 21 inch wide rows (they are better than 30-inch rows or solid-seeding); don’t put fertilizer with the seed; don’t add N, inoculate seed instead; add phosphorus and potassium if soil test levels are medium or lower; don’t apply micronutrients except sulfur (on eroded hilltops and coarse soils) or iron (where there is iron deficiency chlorosis). You can try a fungicide and other special inputs if you like, but NDSU researchers have conducted trials for eight years with more than a dozen products used alone and together in a high yield scheme and haven’t gotten any yield responses that would be cover the cost of the product(s).
Best flex rent arrangement – A minimum cash rent plus a bonus based on price, yield and cost of inputs. A flex rent based on price or yield alone is too risky, says Dwight Aakre, NDSU Extension farm management specialist. If a flex rent is based on price alone, the price may be high but you could have a crop failure and still have to pay the landlord a bonus. If it is based on yield alone, you could have a good yield, but prices may crash. And if you don’t include a factor for inputs, you could still get in trouble even if you have a decent yield and price. Higher costs could reduce your profit margin.