Plant What Pays

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Joe Brincks

With today’s tight margins, seizing every opportunity the commodities market offers is crucial to remaining profitable. That requires a weed control plan that can pivot when you do.

“You can chase a market here in North Dakota. We aren’t just corn and soybeans,” says Joe Brincks, agronomy manager with Wilton Farmers Union Elevator and Agronomy in Wilton, North Dakota. “Most of our farmers are going to rotate to a broadleaf crop. What broadleaf they choose to rotate to depends on market dollars and insurance values.”

Generally, in Brincks’ area, he says, growers are rotating from spring wheat to corn and then to a broadleaf crop. They could be rotating from wheat to corn to soybeans or wheat to corn to sunflowers or many other combinations. It all depends on crop prices. 

When a broadleaf crop is potentially in the rotation, choosing a wheat herbicide may be trickier than in continuous cereal crop production systems. 

That doesn’t have to be the case. For wheat growers who need rotational flexibility, OpenSky® herbicide can simplify weed control.

“Because of the rotational flexibility OpenSky offers, we can really react to market opportunities,” Brincks says.

Brincks recommends his spring wheat growers apply herbicides as close as possible to the three-leaf stage with a one-pass weed control system. 

“We will spray anywhere from three-leaf to flag leaf emergence, but generally we don’t want to wait that long. Sometimes weather dictates it,” he says.

His primary weed targets are kochia, foxtail, downy brome (cheatgrass), Japanese brome and other grasses.

“We have foxtail that is resistant to most Group 1 products, and OpenSky does a great job controlling it,” Brincks says. “OpenSky is also the best there is for cheatgrass.”

For growers substituting barley in their crop rotation in the place of wheat, Brincks often recommends Rezuvant® herbicide.

“Rezuvant is our best value, honestly, on barley,” he says. “We are targeting many of the same weeds, and it does an outstanding job on kochia. Rezuvant also gives us three active ingredients in one jug, and that’s a value over self-mixes.”

OpenSky® and Rezuvant® are not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Always read and follow label directions.