Scouting Fields Isn’t Optional. And Start Early.

corn seedling

“Field scouting has become even more important than in the past,” said Rod Gustafson, Federated’s ag and bulk fuel center manager.

Early post-emerge scouting is an excellent opportunity to see how well the corn or soybean planter did: Are there missing plants? Is planting depth even? How consistent is plant spacing?

Then, it’s essential in these days of resistant weeds to “scout fields before spraying to identify the weeds that are tolerant to glyphosate, like tall waterhemp and giant ragweed,” he said. If those tough weeds are present, other herbicides need to be tank mixed with glyphosate for better control.

“The days are gone of spraying a quart of Buccaneer Plus® to control every weed in the field,” said Gustafson. It’s no longer as easy as ‘apply and watch the weeds die.’

Troublesome weeds such as is lambsquarter also require tank mixed herbicides. “In a Liberty Link® soybean field . . . Liberty will miss [lambsquarter]” unless it was tank mixed with Harmony®,” said Gustafson.

Then, “scouting needs to be done after spraying to make sure the herbicide worked and that there were no equipment or operator issues,” he said.

“Federated Co-ops’ service policy points out to scout within 21 days to make sure that good weed control was achieved,” said Gustafson.

Scouting is the best way to stay on top of crop needs and issues. “It is easier to address a problem early and fix it,” he said. And, without good season-long scouting, at harvest it can be very difficult to determine what went wrong.

Scout early. Scout often. Talk to your Federated Agronomist when scouting reveals areas of concern.