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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cultivate Corn?

Earlier in the year there was a lot of talk about cultivating corn for weed control.  I saw cultivator in the field on my home.  It is in a place I regularly pass so I am looking forward to seeing how it looks in a few days.  I am not sure why the producer was cultivating.  Was it tough weeds, or was it to provide some surface aeration.  The short answer the headline question is: "if you have time." 

In the early 70's some research was done on cultivating corn.  At that time, the researchers found a 10% yield advantage.  After a wet spell like we have had recently, cultivation could be a good idea.  I know that some still have corn to plant or replant and most people still have lots of soybeans to plant.  Even if you do not have time to cultivate it all, this might be a good thing to look at with some strip trials.  Keep in mind that soils need to be similar if you are doing trials.  Weed control and aeration are both benefits of cultivation.  As with all tillage decisions check your conservation plan to see cultivation is allowed. 

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