MAPLETON, Minn. – Planting is finally just about done on the Trio farm. It has been a hard push the first two weeks in June to get everything wrapped up while the weather cooperated and as soon as planting is done, they will be jumping right into spraying.
“We're planting beans today, so we’ve been going at it pretty hard the past week actually, since probably last Monday,” said Aaron Trio during a phone interview from his planter tractor on June 10. “We were at it and we got rained out. I think it was Wednesday afternoon when it rained and then it dried up enough to where we were able to get back in the field that following afternoon.”
The last few acres of corn were planted on June 7-8. They were clearly planted late, but the soil conditions were good when the seed went in, so there is still a good opportunity for a decent crop off those acres.
Starter fertilizer was used with the corn, as well as 32 percent nitrogen applied with their pre-emerge herbicide, which will help the crop get started.
“For the most part, the corn that has come up pretty good. I'm pretty impressed with that,” Aaron said. “Time will tell, but if you get the plants out of the ground, that's half the battle.”
There are some tough spots in the corn, where maybe it wasn’t the right day to plant and soil conditions were not quite ideal. Given the cold start to the spring, there are areas where that seed sat in the ground a little longer than the Trios would have liked, but at least it got planted.
The first week in June really brought the hot temperatures, which helped the corn quite a bit.
“I swear I saw a couple of inches of growth on some of these corn fields,” he said. “They needed it. They sat in cold, wet ground there for a while, so they definitely needed that heat.”
In a normal year, the plan would have been to put a pre-emerge herbicide package down on the bean fields, ahead of plant, same as the corn. However, with planting being so far behind, the Trios reluctantly decided to skip that step.
As Aaron is working the planter, his dad, Steve, is going ahead of him with the field cultivator. The goal is to prepare the seed bed for the planter and also dig up as many of the weeds in the field as possible.
“I'd say it's not an ungodly amount weeds, but I mean, there's enough in there where it's making the field cultivator work for it,” he said. “When you're digging with the field cultivator, you're getting almost all of them, but there is always a couple that are escaping.”
The Trios are planting a dicamba tolerant variety this year. They tried them last year and were pleased with the results, particularly on some new ground they picked up where the weeds were a little more out of control then they were used to working with.
The problem this year is soybean planting is going to wrap up around, June 11 in the area, but with more rain, planting might not be done until around June 15-20. The dicamba application cut off date is June 20.
“Some of that corn is getting tall enough already where you want to get it sprayed, but we still got some time on the corn end of it,” said Aaron. “To be honest with you, once we to get done planting, we will probably be spraying beans right when they're coming up.”
In the coming days, there will be some discussions with the chemical dealer to decide what needs to get sprayed first and if plans on what products to use will have to change.
Getting that dicamba herbicide on the problem soybean fields, where broadleaf weeds are more rampant, with be the priority. On the other hand, they cannot let the corn fields go too long either. Just as that corn is growing quickly, so are the weeds.
It is safe to say there will be no rest for the Trios once planting is done. They will have their hands full for the next few weeks getting everything sprayed and the weeds cleaned out.