The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa on February 3, 1966 · Page 23
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The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa · Page 23

Algona, Iowa
Issue Date:
Thursday, February 3, 1966
Page 23
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Willard Henderson, Fowler, Indiana wanted to check the effectiveness of Amiben on his bean field. He purposely skipped the strip at left with his sprayer. "I'm convinced," says Henderson. I COST MORE THAN TAXES Clinic experts will spell out just how much more...and give costs of various methods of control REAL ESTATE taxes take a mighty big bite out of farm income — but a few weeds in your crops can cost you a lot more than the assessor charges. Average farm taxes are about $4.00 per acre in Illinois, while Iowa taxes average a little over $3.00 per acre v Taxes on the,.best. farm land, of course, may be more than double the state average. Even so, your tax bill can be small potatoes compared to what weeds take out of your pocket every year. A recent study showed that one pigweed releases 200,000 seeds when it matures, and almost all of these weed seeds are ready to grow and rob you the next year if not controlled. In view of this, it doesn't make much sense to use the best seed, best fertilizer, best equipment, and best practices, then let weeds rob the crop's potential. Such a procedure is about as practical as taking long steps to save your shoes! It doesn't take many weeds to cut yields $10 per acre. Weeds collect their taxes by robbing crops of nutrients, moisture and light. An acre of land can support just so much plant growth at once, says University of Illinois agronomist Ellery Knake. "A cornfield free of weeds may produce 8,000 Ibs. of grain and stalks. The same field with 2,000 Ibs. of weeds will produce only 6,000 Ibs. of corn," he explains. His studies show just one pigweed over 10 inches of row can cut corn yields 17 bushels per acre and soybean yields 15 bushels per acre — losses costing you $20 to $35 per acre. Cultivators are not obsolete, but on many Cornbelt farms they're not getting the workout they once did. That's because progressive farmers have found that herbicide applications are more effective and less costly than two or three trips over the field* with a large tractor and cultivator. Many herbicide users are now getting by with only one cultivation, and others have stored away their cultivators right along side the old hay loader. Weeds weren't too great a problem, when the cross-check wire was still popular. But when "checked" com was cast aside in favor of higher plant populations about a decade ago, effective weed control became a bigger problem. Each year more and more farmers have turned to chemicals for the answer. The vast majority are highly satisfied with the results. Many non-believers have become believers after seeing chemicals perform in a neighbor's field. Side-by-side comparisons, such as that shown in the photo at left, provide plenty of convincing evidence. Basically, weeds cause losses four ways: 1 — Growing in the crop row, they absorb light, and they consume nitrogen, phosphorous, potash, moisture and trace minerals necessary for good crop growth. In soybeans, it has been shown that one foxtail plant growing every four inches in the row will consume enough of these elements to produce an extra 2.3 bushels per acre. One foxtail spaced every inch eats up enough moisture and nutrients to produce an extra 6.6 bushels per acre. Using a pre-emergence herbicide such as Amiben, it has been proven that, by controlling both broadleaf weeds and grasses, soybeans develop more, heavier pods per plant and yield 3 to 9 extra bushels per acre. 2 — Broadleaf weeds and grasses offer shelter to mites, insects and disease organisms. Even growing along fence lines->and ditch banks, weeds have been known to cause the infestation of entire fields. 3 — The third way weeds reduce yields is at harvest. Since the cutter bar cannot be adjusted to harvest the lowest pods on the plant, many bushels are left in the field. 4 — Dockage losses for soybeans that contain weed seeds are the fourth penalty growers pay for raising breeds along with their soybeans. The charges at the elevator for cleaning and reprocessing such beans is deducted from the price paid to the farmer. These four losses from weeds aren't immediately obvious. Soil nutrients, moisture, harvest losses and* dockage are the hidden costs of raising soybeans — they don't show up until the yield is weighed, measured, analyzed and examined for weed seed. By controlling weeds and grasses, these losses can be reduced, yields can be increased and profits can be raised $7.50 to $22.50 per acre. For information on the best methods of weed control, plus approximate costs per acre on your farm, be present at the Clinic. Untreated, weed-infested soybean fields like this rob you of yield and profits just as surely as if you left open the end-gate of your wagon or truck as you hauled the beans home from the field. 11

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