Swarm Bots Could Shift Ag History Picture a swarm of tiny robots moving down the rows of a cotton field, mechanical spider arms plucking multiple bolls per second and depositing fiber into holding containers. Ginning begins immediately within the containers as the bots move on to more plants. Scoffers beware: Agriculture is on the cusp of historical change. Robotic harvest is knocking on the door of traditional row crop production and cotton growers may bring in the first fruits. A massive technological push steered by Cotton Incorporated aims to deliver automated harvest via fleets of swarm robots to U.S. fields within 10 to 15 years. Coordinated field research is underway in multiple states and the results may benefit the entire spectrum of U.S. agriculture. A commercial prototype system could be ready in just over a decade, according to Ed Barnes, senior director of Agriculture and Environmental Research at Cotton Incorporated. Weaving together technological development project..
High Yields Start With Clean Fields
Chances are there are thieves lurking in your still-unplanted fields, and they’re preparing to rob you blind. The International Survey of Herbicide-Resistant Weeds has found 160 unique resistant weeds in the United States1. This includes 17 species of glyphosate-resistant weeds, which have been reported in 38 states.
Resistant weeds can be introduced in a previously resistance-free field through the movement of weed seeds from one field to another. Preventing the spread of resistance should be an important element of herbicide resistance management. That means it’s time to leave nothing to chance on the success of your 2018 planting season. Make sure you use a preemergent herbicide with residual activity and take the would-be yield robbers out of the equation.
As every grower knows, some things are simply out of your control, but making sure your fields don’t start out with weeds is very much in your control. Why create an uphill climb to high yields when you can set the stage for a successful season and protect the nutrients and water for your plants?
So as the planting season gets closer and your list of to-do’s gets longer, put “burndown with residual” at the top.
Making sure the herbicide has broad-spectrum control against broadleaf weeds and grasses is the key to combating resistant weeds early in the season. Using a herbicide program with layered residuals helps keep fields clean until it’s time for the postemergence application.
For optimizing the results of crop protection applications, the “when” is almost as important as the “what.” With planting windows being small, a herbicide with a zero-day planting interval, such as Zidua® PRO, gives growers a great amount of planting flexibility at crucial planting times on most soils2.
Planting weather in the spring can be temperamental, which can make it challenging for crops to get off to a strong start. That can also make it hard for growers to get into the field, or get back into the field. In instances where weather keeps equipment out of the field, a burndown herbicide with a long-lasting residual can set the stage for season-long weed control. Rapid-acting herbicides, such as Verdict® herbicide, can help growers stay on top of the weather conditions to get seed into the ground.
Now is the time to plan for season-long weed control and resistance management. Including preemergent herbicide applications at the top of the to-do list in the spring can help growers start the season with a strong foundation for clean fields from contact to canopy. For more information about the benefits of adding Zidua PRO or Verdict to your preemergent herbicide crop protection plan this season, contact your local BASF representative.
Always read and follow label directions.
Zidua and Verdict are registered trademarks of BASF.
1 See the International Survey of Herbicide-Resistant Weeds website for more information on resistant weed species at http://www.weedscience.org/.
2 Medium to fine textured soils have a zero-day planting interval. Coarse soils require a 30-day planting interval.