The corn crop has pollinated and soybean pods are filling, but there are still lessons to learn and carry forward into 2019. In fact, now is the time, while the crop is in the field, to open your eyes and ears. After harvest, the opportunity will be gone.
A recent Farm Journal Pulse asked farmers, “If you could have one silver bullet, which threat would you use it against?” More than 860 farmers responded, and 78% of them said weeds. In addition, 13% replied diseases; 6%, insects and 3%, nematodes.
As retailers work to foster closer relationships with customers and earn trust, perhaps there’s a real opportunity here. Your customers are telling you, overwhelmingly, they need a clear solution to weeds.
If you haven’t started already, it’s not too late to help farmers keep good records of weed pressures, herbicide applications and other management techniques used in 2018. Those field notes will serve as a springboard for a series of conversations on the tools you can help them deploy next year. Once harvest is underway, the chance to record those notes is lost and gone forever.
There’s no time like the present to start thinking about tomorrow. Looking further out, the future of weed control looks like a mix of proactive measures and control agents applied with precision. It’s intriguing to watch re-engineered approaches to herbicide application, such as Blue River’s See and Spray and Rantizo’s electrostatic spraying. The future doesn’t seem too far away based on the speed at which these technologies are being developed.
Thinking ahead impacts another important aspect of your business. According to Farm Journal research, 30% of farmers start their seed purchase decisions in September and October. Our next issue is our annual Seed Guide, and we look forward to providing an update on the industry and options available.