Ideas To Manage Pulse Crop Inputs This Year
With input costs on the rise, unpredictable markets and variable weather, what can you do to manage your input costs for pulses in 2020? Below are some ideas that could help.
MAKE SURE YOUR EQUIPMENT IS FIELD READY
- Tune up and repair all your field equipment prior to spring work.
- Poorly maintained equipment can increase fuel consumption and operating costs, plus increase the chances of breakdowns in season.
REVIEW YOUR FERTILITY REQUIREMENTS
- Start with a soil test. Fertilizer is one of the biggest expenditures on your farm, so soil testing makes a lot of sense. Following updated soil test recommendations can help pinpoint precisely what each field needs.
- Do you need the same inputs on every field every year? Are some fields higher in available nutrients due to dry conditions or crop rotations? Check field-specific soil tests to make sure.
- Is variable rate application right for your farm? Varying the rate of fertilizer (or other inputs) across a field could help reduce your total fertilizer costs without losing yield.
Shop Around For Savings. AgraCity also has a complete line-up of pulse inoculants and fertility products listed below to help you save money, including:
- Boost NCT pea/lentil liquid
- Boost NCT pea/lentil pea
- Boost NCT pea/lentil granular
- MicroPhos All-In-One: Phosphorus + micro-nutrients in 1 easy to use prill.
- MicroPhos Zinc: Phosphorus + micronutrients + Zinc in 1 easy to use prill.
CALIBRATE SEEDING RATES AND EQUIPMENT
- Check seeding rates. A lower than recommended seeding rate will reduce your plant stand, decrease competition with weeds and even reduce yield. A higher than recommended seeding rate will increase your cost/acre.
- Always check the seed size and calibrate your seeding equipment accordingly before you start seeding. And don’t forget to calibrate your inoculant amounts too.
EVALUATE YOUR HERBICIDE NEEDS
- Start by reviewing last year. What weed problems were noticeable at harvest? This can help you determine what weeds are likely to be a problem this year.
- What is the right product for each field? Different fields can have different weed issues, make sure you scout fields thoroughly prior to application to determine the best product for each field.
- Pre-seed: plan on a pre-seed application to manage hard to kill weeds, as there are no good in-crop options for weeds such as kochia. With herbicide resistant weeds an increasing problem, a tank mix with your glyphosate is a must. Or consider a pre-emergent application of Edge® from Gowan prior to seeding as well as a pre-seed application of glyphosate + an add-in tank mix.
- In-crop: Consider your weed spectrum before deciding on which products to use. Pulse crops have fewer post-emergent options compared to other crops, so it makes sense to look carefully at which products offer the control that your fields need.
- Do you need to spray the whole field? Shutting off the sprayer in weed free areas of the field could reduce your herbicide costs without compromising weed control.
Consider next generation digital AI agronomy services from AgraCity that utilizes ultra-high -resolution imagery to quickly and accurately identify weeds, insects, diseases and more. Call 1-844-269-3276 to set up an appointment with a digital agronomy expert.
- Could faster sprayer fills save time and money? Consider a bigger pump or water hauling system. Filling the sprayer takes a lot of time, faster filling can free up more hours for application, especially if weather conditions are less than ideal during application season.
Save up to 30% by buying your pulse crop herbicides listed below from AgraCity. They have the same actives as the brand names and are delivered direct to farm. Make sure to check the label for crops, rates, water volumes and other important information.
- Disruptor® 360 or 540 glyphosate
- Revenge® pre-seed prior to pulse crops: same active as Aim® from FMC
- Revenge M pre-seed for peas and flax: same active as Aim + MCPA
- Anaconda™: superior performance grass and broadleaf control in peas. Same actives as Viper® from BASF and Assure™ II from Corteva
- Boa® in many different pulse crops: same active as Basagran® from BASF
- Boa Pro in peas: same actives as Viper® from BASF for peas
- Samurai® in peas: same active as Solo® from BASF for peas
- Samurai Master: outstanding broadleaf and grass weed control in peas. Aame actives as Solo and Independence®
- Ninja®: same active as Odyssey® from BASF for peas
- Ninja Master: top notch grass and broadleaf control in peas; same actives as Odyssey + Independence
- Kamikaze®: same active at Pursuit® from BASF
- Independence®: same active as Centurion® from Bayer
- Quiz®: Same active as Assure II from Corteva
MANAGE FUNGICIDE COSTS
Diseases can severely impact pulse crop yield and quality if inoculum is present and environmental conditions are conducive to disease development.
- Start with a seed treatment for early season protection of seed and soil borne diseases.
- For in season disease management, before you spray ask yourself three key questions:
1. Am I in area that has had disease concerns in the past?
2. Are the crops I am growing susceptible to diseases?
3. Are the environmental conditions suitable for disease this year?
- If you answered yes to all three questions, then fungicide application will likely be required this year.
- Do you need to spray the whole field? Or just heavily canopied areas? Next generation ultra-high-resolution digital agronomy from AgraCity can help determine which areas of the field need fungicide, and which areas may not.
- How many fungicide applications do you need? Closely observe crop growth and growing conditions carefully throughout the season to assess how many applications are required, and if you are doing multiple applications remember to rotate fungicide groups to prevent resistance.
Shop around for the best price. AgraCity can help through a growing portfolio of fungicides with the same actives as the brand name products.
- Spade®: Same active as Headline® from BASF
- Spade Plus: Plant health in a box: same active as Headline® + foliar micronutrients.
RECONSIDER YOUR INSECT PEST CONTROL
Pulse crops have relatively few insect pests of economic importance, but the few that can affect pulses must be monitored to prevent yield loss.
- Start by thinking back to last year – what insect pests were present in your area?
- Consider a seed treatment that contains insecticide to provide protection from early season in-sect pests.
- Check provincial insect outbreak forecasts for anticipated insect problems in your area.
- For in-season insect outbreaks, be prepared to scout every few days to determine if application is required. This is especially important for early season pests like cutworms.
- Understand the economic threshold for each insect pest before deciding whether to apply, as the pest threshold may be too low to justify insecticide application.
- Avoid revenge spraying; a few insects may be frustrating, but potential losses may not be enough to justify the expense of spraying.
- Resources like provincial pulse grower websites or provincial crop protection guides can provide additional information and recommendations on controlling insect outbreaks in pulse crops.
CUT YOUR DESICCATION COSTS
- Before you apply desiccant this year, consider the entire field; are some spots already mature and do not need desiccation? Digital agronomy scouting prior to application could save you time and money by reduced chemical and application costs.
- Consider your application timing. Application in the evening and into the night, using high water volumes and the higher end of the recommended rate scale will result in quicker and more consistent dry-down, which will improve your crop quality, allow quicker harvest, and can improve your returns.
- Clone® is registered for use as a desiccant in some pulse crops; check the product labels for a complete list of registered crops and uses.
Talk to AgraCity on how you can save on your inputs this year. AgraCity has the best prices on a complete line of pulse products, including fungicides, herbicides, inoculants, micronutrients, foliars and desiccants. Talk to your local AgraCity business representative, go to www.AgraCity.com/products/ or call 1-844-269-3276 to discuss how AgraCity can help manage your pulse crop input costs this year.