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Chemical Weed Control Guide now available

By David G. Hallauer

Meadowlark Extension District Agent, Crops and Soils/Horticulture

The 2011 version of Kansas State University's Chemical Weed Control Guide is now available. Pick one up at your District Extension office if interested.

Each year, this guide expands in size, and 2011's version is now exception. In addition to the increased array of products (and explanations of them), the guide's first 20 pages are dedicated not to crops, but to herbicide selection, application, and management.

From cleaning your spray equipment to persistence in the soil to approximate costs, the guide's opening pages provide you with an excellent foundation on which to build your herbicide program--including a glyphosate comparison table.

Pick one up or find it online at www.ksre.ksu.edu (search for it by name or SRP 1045.

Inoculant study data

Over the last decade, we've made great strides in seed treatments--enough so, in fact, that almost no seed hits your farm without something on it. The initial emphasis has been on fungicide and insecticide treatments. Others are also getting in the game, including inoculant products for soybeans.

Barney Gordon, Scott Staggenborg, and Chuck Rice, KSU agronomists, used three experiments to compare inoculants recently, and came up with these conclusions:

Ô°í--Most inoculants were similar in performance;

Ô°í--There was a definite yield response if out of soybeans for nine years;

--Ô°íThere was a mixed response if out of soybeans for five years; and

Ô°í--There was no response if only two years out of soybean (our typical corn/soybean rotation).

The recommendation: Inoculate if you are out of soybeans for more than two or three years. When inoculating, be sure to take care with storage of the product and its application.

Soil testing

For optimum vegetable and fruit production, its important to provide the nutrients needed. At the same time, there's no sense in applying product you don't need, right? That's where a good old soil test (a basic soil test checks pH, phosphorus, and potassium) can provide you a lot of information.

Most lawn and garden soil tests through the KSU soil testing lab show more than adequate levels of both phosphorus and potassium. So, if you don't need it, not applying it only makes good environmental and economical sense. Excessive application of phosphorous can even lead to uptake inhibition of other nutrients. If you haven't in awhile, try to test this spring.

A representative sample comes from cores taken at several locations in the garden or lawn about 6 to 8 inches deep. Mix the samples together in a clean container and select about 1 cup of soil. Bring soil to your district office to send to KSU. Eight dollars gets you a basic test.

If you are seeing production problems, a soil test is a good place to start, but may not solve everything. Production affecting factors like poor drainage/soil structure, insects/disease, or weather cannot be evaluated by a soil test.

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