Can you till and spray before seeding this year?

Written by Brett Teetaert on Apr 22 2020

Category: Grow Grain

Squeeze in a herbicide application – it takes less time than you think

I don’t need to tell you that last year’s growing conditions are going to impact this year’s seeding operations throughout Manitoba. Farmers around the region are reporting that at least a portion of their land is marked with ruts (hopefully no equipment is still in them!) and some crop is still sitting in fields. Very little pre- or post-harvest spraying happened last year, giving bi-annual, winter annual, and perennial weeds a head start, and making them tougher to control. More moisture this spring will result in a constant flush of weeds – something we haven’t been used to over the past couple of years. 

To get rid of ruts, the simplest answer is tillage. Some fields may only see one pass of tillage and bad ruts may see some extra attention. Due to time constraints, this is likely all we’ll have time for in advance of seeding cereals, and I’m not convinced this will be enough to deal with all of our issues.

In most cases, more than one tillage pass will be required to get the land into shape. Two will likely be necessary, and three is not unrealistic depending on your equipment and if you need to put down fertilizer. However, time and weather will likely work against you. If we have a perfect April it may be possible, but the land needs to dry out enough to allow equipment to travel across the field. Rain or snow will set you back significantly, especially when soils are this saturated. Likewise, cold spells or frosts at night will slow you down because you can’t run as many hours and do a good job. High speed tillage solves a lot of issues, but if you don’t have anhydrous or a dry kit set-up you’ll still need two passes or to float fertilizer and incorporate.


How will you get it all done in time?

You can eliminate one pass of tillage with a pre-seed herbicide application of glyphosate along with an appropriate add-in that includes an additional mode of action to deal with hard-to-control overwintered weeds, and manage for herbicide resistance. Reduce the stress of getting everything done in a timely manner, save time, and possibly save some money. If you choose to use a product with residual control, it can also take some of the pressure off your in-crop herbicide application.

A pre-seed application takes less time than you think and could even save you money.



If you’re not sure what pre-seed option is a fit for your crops’ needs, your timeline, and/or your budget, contact your nearest Cargill location for more information.  We’re here to help.

*Always read and follow label directions.

Tags: Seeding, Weed control, Herbicides, Pre-seed

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