Things to think about this spring: summer cropping
Every year, northern grain growers heading into summer are presented with several scenarios for the spring season.
It is paramount that every scenario, and the impact that it carries, is carefully considered. We spoke to Northern Agronomist Janet Loechel about how a second-best decision made on time will likely be more successful than a decision made too late, and the products and services at a grower’s disposal to help them protect and grow their business heading into the spring and summer months.
With spring on our doorstep, growers should have already begun pre-emergent spraying. This process is essential to safeguard crops from weeds and ensures accuracy when it comes to feathertop control. Pre-emergent spraying also offers yield benefits, such as early weed removal and reducing moisture competition for the establishing crop.
Janet’s key call out for spraying is that applying pre-emergent herbicides helps control hard to manage weeds, such as feathertop, and helps rotate to different chemical groups not creating resistance with the continued use of same modes of actions.
“It is important that pre-emergents are applied before a significant rain event, so they are successfully incorporated into the soil before their ability to kill weeds is lost,” she says. “It’s also worth noting that this technique will not be effective if a paddock contains a lot of well-established weeds. Make sure that you are starting from a low-weed base by applying pre-emergent applications correctly to better safeguard your crops.”
Elders stocks leading agricultural chemical products for controlling weeds, pests and plant disease, as well as products to enhance yields and improve quality. Check out our Spring Catalogue for the latest deals this season.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that fungicide preparation at this stage of the season is paramount – especially for protecting the flag leaf of cereal crops. Growers must also have the correct fungicide program in place to prevent crop loss as we approach what is expected to be a heavy wet season.
“One of our most important jobs at this time of year is working with our clients to ensure they have access to the right applications and have correctly applied them. If this seasonal outlook is as successful as the experts are predicting, growers will need to be organised when it comes to ordering products and services that support their preparation.”
This is particularly important this season with the significant volume of crops planted placing a heavy burden on the already compromised supply chain.
Soil core moisture sampling and quality testing
Although most northern grain growers are preparing for planting, Janet says she is concerned by how few have chosen to test their soil quality, nutritional value and moisture.
“Many growers will assume that the land is high in moisture, but this assumption may be misinformed and compromise overall crop development,” she says.
Every Elders branch will be able to offer soil testing and pouring coring services.
“It is probably too late to begin these processes for the October plantation, but growers that are planting later in summer (December) should re-test the quality and nutritional value of the soil now.”
Summer crop split planting time and varieties
Growers have been hit incredibly hard by recent drought, fire, and floods, and must do their best to mitigate the impacts of these adverse weather phenomena. Growers might want to consider taking a more conservative approach this year, splitting planting time and varieties to reduce the chance of widespread crop loss.
An Elders agronomist can assist with this kind of decision making, helping growers to choose which chemicals to apply for best results, based on the latest crop trial results.
The Elders business has been built around primary producers and their needs throughout the production cycle. We have built a team of dedicated agribusiness experts to help you explore your options, protect your assets and grow your operations to maximise your farm’s potential.
For more information on how Elders can support you this spring, contact your local Elders branch.