By: Matthew Lavallee
With Spring upon us a new growing season begins across America, the importance of pre-season preparation can’t be understated; ensuring that you are equipped for future issues now can save a lot of time and money later down the road. Anticipating a pest or pathogen outbreak keeps growers more mindful throughout the entire production and keeping ahead of these potential issues will aid in generating a bountiful crop with as little loss as possible. Read more about how to stay on top of your crop this season by preparing early.
Treat those seeds
Pre-season preparation begins with properly treating seeds prior to planting using hot water treatments or bactericide/fungicide washes to kill pathogens on the seed itself before they begin to germinate. Using washes and baths is the most effective way to neutralizes pathogens but the process requires immediate planting once they are introduced to water for such a prolonged period. Plan ahead and ensure that your fields are ready to receive the seed as soon as it has been treated to maximize control of bacteria and fungus but minimize the loss of seed due to moisture.
Healthy Soil is imperative
Of course, planting treated seeds into infected soil undoes this hard work so to make sure that planting areas are prepped to receive cleaned seed as soon as possible, focus on eradicating soil borne pathogens, pests, and nematodes in the field itself by treating the planting area with bactericides/fungicides especially in the root zone, managing pathogens and establishing a proper starting point for healthy plants. Once the pathogens have been addressed, using a beneficial soil amendment or inoculant can increase stimulation of healthy root systems and aid in increased yields all season long.
Don’t forget Pre, and Post emergent weed treatment
Now that the seeds and soil are clean you have developed a near perfect breeding ground for all plants, including the ones that you didn’t introduce. Controlling weeds immediately and continuing throughout the entire growing season should be a top priority for any grower. Take action early whenever possible with pre-emergent herbicides to gain the upper hand early and continue the fight once weeds have broken the surface with post emergent weed control in order to keep resource-competing weeds at bay.
Proper weed management should not be limited to the crop area but also practiced around the entire premises. Don’t neglect to use broad spectrum herbicides in less attended areas such as roadsides/driveways, fence lines, and around barns and storage areas where unwanted plants can become unwieldy and problematic rather quickly.
Prep now, reap later
Following steps like these is just one part of a healthy and productive season, but without pre-season preparation, you could be setting yourself up for more issues than there is time to address. Acting now, and keeping the pressure on ensures success that will last all season long.