EFFINGHAM, Ill. — It’s not often the farming community has a field day without a sales pitch. In fact, it’s down right unheard of.
Until June 25, that is.
That’s when Beck’s Hybrids hosted its inaugural Herbicide Insight Days at its Effingham facility.
Beck’s staff from Illinois and Indiana gathered there to share results of their field research and practical experience gained from working with their customers about the best herbicide options with Beck’s products.
They shared these southern Illinois-specific “insights” over two days and handed out their 2019 edition of “Beck’s Recommended Herbicide Programs for Soybeans” to everyone.
“The reason we’re doing it is (weed scientist) Joe Bolte, he sent a message to me a couple months ago. He said I think 2020 will be one of the most confusing years because we’ll have three different trading platforms, all kinds of herbicide packages and there will be a lot of confusing marketing messages sent,” explained Jim Schwartz, Beck’s Hybrids director of practical farm research and agronomy.
“We felt like it would be good if we could bring a little bit of insight into some of those decisions that you’re going to have to make. I want you to know we don’t have a dog in the hunt that we’re talking about today. We don’t sell herbicides or get kickbacks or anything. We’re just trying to get the information to help you make better decisions,” he told the farmers.
Location lead Jonathan Perkins added during his session on Group 15 herbicides that the Effingham test fields “had the same challenges as you this season.” As of June 25, the field had received 5 to 6 inches of rain since planting.
“I think all you could probably raise your hands no matter where you’re from across the whole Midwest and say that it’s been a tough one, right,” Perkins said. “That’s why we have these plots, so we can help you figure out what to do.”
Field agronomist Sean Nettleton, for example, ran a trial on the effectiveness of the application time of day has on herbicide performance. He looked at various herbicides applied at early morning, mid afternoon and late night.
The trial clearly showed a more effective period during “heart of the day — late morning to late afternoon,” but Nettleton cautioned this can vary greatly pending on dew and humidity.
The day’s agenda also included visits with Beck’s experts on tank mixtures, herbicide rotation and tank mixtures, resistance management, nozzle and surfactant selections and Group 5, 14 and 15 herbicides.
“We felt like there was an opportunity for us to get information from an unbiased third party source to farmers. And it’s information coming from a bunch of guys who are very passionate about herbicides,” Schwartz added.