April's Ag Advice by April Borders Fall is definitely here and there are several issues that we need to be looking at. First, we need to be concerned with storing our grain, especially our corn. Because of the cool growing season that we have experienced our corn is later in maturing than usual and we will be facing some storage and drying challenges.
Since it is likely that we will be using our corn drying systems a lot this year, producers should make sure that their equipment is ready to go. They should clean, lubricate and check drying and conveying equipment before harvest to make sure that is it in working order. Higher harvest moisture could contribute to slow and expensive drying. Have you considered whether or not it is feasible to store grain?
High moisture corn at harvest generally means more fines and broken corn. These fines and broken kernels provide a great habitat for insects and molds. Preparing your bins prior to storage will be very important to insect control. Monitoring will be very crucial if you plan on storing very long. There are concerns about molds and mycotoxin developing so drying your corn down will be very important.
Proper aeration is needed to maintain good quality corn. With the potential for higher amounts of broken kernels and cob pieces being in your grain, aeration will be key in helping to redistribute uneven kernel moistures. Management of your aeration system will aid in the drying and storage of your corn.
If you have concerns about storing your corn this year plan on attending the "Corn Storage and Aeration Management" program that will be held on Friday, Oct. 15, at 9:30 a.m. at the Menno Legion Hall or at 1:30 p.m. at Simplot's meeting room in Beresford. This program is being presented by the Farm Management/Marketing and Agronomy Extension Educators from the S2 Field Education Unit. For more information on this program call your local Extension office.
Another issue that we need to address is fall weed control. Fall is a good time to make another attack on those pesky perennial noxious weeds. The key to control is having adequate active growth and with the recent rains that we have had, we are seeing new weed growth.
Areas to consider for fall weed control are roadsides that were hayed, grazed pasture/range, fields where small grains or silage were harvested, and areas like CRP that were mowed during the season. Also check fence lines and tree plantings. Fall may be the only opportunity to get to some of these areas.
Remember to select the treatment that fits the weed and the site. SDSU Fact Sheet 525N, Noxious Weed Control, gives a complete guide for Canada thistle, leafy spurge, field bindweed, biennial thistle and other noxious weeds. Copies of this publication are available at your local Extension office.
This is also a good time to consider weed control in our lawns. Fall works because the herbicide moves into the root of the plant. This allows for a better kill then just burning down the top growing material. Remember that active, new weed growth is important. Skip mowing to allow more growth. Allowing more plant growth allows more surface area to be covered, especially if using a spray formulation. Make applications before a killing freeze; a light frost is not a problem for most weeds. A warm, sunny day with temperatures above 60 degrees speeds activity. For the most tolerant weeds like ground ivy, make a repeat application 10 to 14 days after the first.
Make sure that you apply the chemicals with care. If spraying use low pressure and coarse droplets to reduce drift to non-target plants. Many broadleaf products for lawns are a mix of herbicide ingredients and they are available in several product brands. Make sure to check the label guidelines for mixing and applying these products. Always read and follow the label.
SDSU Extension Weed Specialist Leon Wrage says, "Treat now, and see the results next spring."