Managing pests is a yearlong process that is especially important during planting time. Below, Hollandale soybean farmer and former Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board (MSPB) chairman Jan de Regt, shares his plans for planting, pest management and more for the upcoming season.
Be sure to check back for more updates from other MSPB board members.
Q: What are your goals for this planting season?
A: Most years, I plant my rice first and then start planting my soybeans around April 10. This year, it looks like we are going to plant rice and soybeans at the same time because the ground is just too wet. My goal is to have all of my soybeans planted by May 1, but mudding in soybeans just doesn’t pay off, so I will wait until the ground is ready and then work longer days, if necessary.
Q: Looking ahead to the growing season, how do you plan to manage pests such as disease, insects and herbicide-resistant weeds?
A: Frogeye leaf spot has been one of the hardest diseases to control, so finding the correct fungicide to control it has been essential. We use fungicides with different fungicide modes of action to control the disease because we can’t afford to miss out on the yield that diseases can rob from a crop.
To prevent insects from causing economic damage, we are out in our fields weekly to scout. Through scouting, we are able to monitor insect levels and determine when they have reached economic thresholds. Until thresholds are reached, we will usually not spray for insects.
We strive for 100 percent control of resistant weeds on our farm. Our weed-control plan starts with a spring pre-emerge herbicide, followed by additional applications, if necessary. We closely monitor fields after applications for weed escapes and treat them accordingly.
Q: What irrigation technologies do you plan to use on your farm this year?
A: I use PHAUCET, along with soil-moisture sensors and surge valves. These tools have helped us to maintain high yields while reducing our water usage and reducing our fuel costs.