Spring is here and with it, the time when Mississippi farmers are eager to get their planters rolling. Below, fourth-generation Clarksdale soybean farmer and Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board (MSPB) member Wayne Dulaney, shares his plans for the upcoming season.
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Q: What are your goals for this planting season?
A: Every year we try to get our crops in the field as early as possible because it leads to higher yields and offers our soybeans better protection from late-season stressors, such as insects, heat and drought. The wet weather we’ve had this spring has put a delay on planting, but my goal is to get all of my soybeans in the field by April 20.
Q: How do you manage herbicide-resistant weeds during planting time?
A: Starting with a clean field is our biggest weed-control strategy at planting time. In the fall, we use a combination of tillage and pre-emerge herbicides to prevent winter-weed growth. This allows us to plant into a clean field in the spring. For continued weed control, we apply a pre-emerge herbicide right after the planter and continue to monitor weeds throughout the growing season and treat as needed.
Q: Are you trying any new production methods or technology this year?
A: This year, I plan to better manage the nutrient availability for my soybeans. My farm has high-pH, a heavy-clay soil, which makes it difficult for our soybeans to pull nutrients out of the soil. So this year, instead of applying the recommended rate of fertilizer and hoping the plants can use it, we plan to use tissue sampling and let the soybeans tell us what they need. We’ve planned to tissue sample at the V8 and R1 growth stages, as well as when the plant is 8 inches tall. This will help us determine when and where to apply fertilizer for maximum yields.