June 27, 2013 by dairycarrie
So this spring and summer so far has been wet. It won’t stop raining. Not only have we not been able to plant the majority of our crops, the soggy and wet weather has created other problems.
We work with an independent crop consultant named Tom. During the growing season Tom checks our crops and advises us on what they need, from fertilizer to herbicides or insecticides. He lets us know when our crops are at their peak for harvest and what our soil needs to be healthy.
On our farm we plant a mix of crops, like corn, soybeans, alfalfa or sorghum for our cows to eat. Some of these crops are genetically modified to resist glyphosate herbicides like Roundup. On years like this year where the only thing growing really well are the weeds, we are thankful that we have the ability to use glyphosate to manage the weeds. I know many people are against GMO crops, we have done our research and on our farm we choose to use them when we believe GMO seeds are the best option.
In a normal year if we needed a field sprayed with herbicide or insecticide it would be applied with a sprayer that drives into the fields. But this year is far from normal and the ground simply can’t handle the weight of the sprayer. So this year we have to hire a special kind of sprayer to get the job done…
While a helicopter doesn’t use any more of the spray we are using than a regular spray rig, having to use a helicopter is going to cost us almost double the normal application cost. Inputs like fungicide, insecticide or herbicide are expensive and deciding to spray a field isn’t something that gets little thought. If we thought that a field didn’t need to be sprayed we wouldn’t. The extra costs of having to use a helicopter is going to make a big dent in the farm checkbook but doing nothing would result in no feed for our cows and that can’t happen.
What are your questions about crop spraying? I’ll fully admit that the cows are my area of expertise but I’m happy to answer your crop spraying questions too!