Submitted to: American Society of Agricultural Engineers Meetings Papers
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/23/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: More than 95% of Iowa row crop acres are treated with herbicides. Such extensive use is an environmental concern. Banding of herbicides over the crop row, along with mechanical cultivation to control interrow weeds, has been proposed as a way to reduce herbicide use. Although cultivation is used by more than 80% of Iowa farmers, only 7% of herbicides are applied in a band. This indicates that cultivation is not relied upon for interrow weed control. The risk that weather conditions will hinder completion of mechanical cultivation seems to discourage the use of herbicide banding. An experiment was conducted on a Clarion loam soil near Boone, IA, in 1993 and 1994 to determine the effect of cultivator design and speed when combined with the banding of chemicals to control weeds. Three cultivator styles, two bandwidths (19 cm and 38 cm), and two speeds were tested. A single cultivation management strategy was used. Data were taken for yield, weed population, ground cover, soil movement, and crop vigor in a no-till continuous corn rotation on 76.2 cm row spacings. Faster speed did not impede weed control or yield. In 1994, the yield was greater in plots cultivated at 11.2 km/hr than in plots cultivated at 6.4 km/hr. Weed populations were greater in the 19 cm band than in the 38 cm band for both years. In 1994, populations, leaf heights, and yields were also significantly less for herbicide applied in a 19 cm band than in a 38 cm band. In 1994, the sweep and smith fin cultivator treatments had greater yields and less observed weed cover than the point and share treatment. Ground cover showed few differences. Cloudy, wet weather seemed to have more effect on crop growth than did weed pressure in 1993.