Farmer Focus: Challenging weed control in US soya beans

My crops look good going into August. Decent weather during planting let us get the crops planted in a timely fashion and we have had good rains that have kept them growing.

Corn is approaching dough stage and the soya beans are beginning to bloom. After 10 days of high temperatures, July ended unusually mild, ideal for pod set on soya beans.

We had an excellent crop last year, and our prospects for 2018 right now are just as good.

Weed control has been challenging but my level of weeds is acceptable on all but 12ha. I planted a few Liberty Link soya beans this year, and 8.5ha of a dicamba-resistant variety, but the bulk of my 280ha of soya bean area is Roundup Ready.

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Where we were able to get a herbicide on before emergence, our soya beans are very clean. Right now the dicamba beans carry too much risk of making your neighbour want to sue you.

I am hoping a rumour I heard about there being Liberty/Roundup beans on the market in 2018 is true, because I will definitely plant them.

The dicamba bean is a great idea, if they can get a handle on the drift (or perceived drift) problem. They are very clean.

A problem in our area not related to crop production has been a surge in tick-borne illness. My dad suffered a bout of bad health after being bitten by a tick, as have a number of other people in the area.

Surging bug population

With a string of mild winters our bug population has exploded; my cattle had ticks at the end of February. We are also plagued with Armadillos, harmless other than they dig holes everywhere, including your lawn.

Our political situation is very concerning to most thinking people. I guess it is in this atmosphere of hate and discontent our next farm legislation will be written.

I have to wonder what our leaders can possibly agree on in a new farm bill. Our two-party system seems to have devolved into a 12-year-old’s playground mentality, where getting your way is much more important than doing what is good for the nation.

The patriots who fought for our freedom must be rolling in their graves.

Brian Hind farms 1,250ha of prairie land, of which 960ha is family-owned and the rest rented. Of this, 330ha is arable cropping with maize, soya, grain sorghum, alfalfa plus a mix of rye, triticale and turnips for grazing his herd of 400 beef cattle. Grassland is used to produce hay.