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Harvest Weed Seed Control At harvest time, weeds that have escaped season long management often have mature seed still attached to the parent plants. These weed seeds can enter the combine along Weed and Seed Strategy This report presents an overview on the Weed and Seed Strategy developed under the U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Weed and Seed, a multi-agency initiative Seed, Feed and Weed to Succeed In my earlier article I used the sports management analogy to make the case for actively managing the skills, skill levels and composition of your team. In this

Harvest Weed Seed Control

At harvest time, weeds that have escaped season long management often have mature seed still attached to the parent plants. These weed seeds can enter the combine along with the cash crop, exit the back of the combine as chaff (small plant pieces and weed seeds), and be spread across the field, as well as from one field to another. It seems a waste to spend all year spraying weeds with expensive herbicides only to reward the survivors at harvest by spreading their weed seeds out for next year.

An excellent way to stop weeds in their tracks is to collect these weed seeds at harvest and either destroy them or deposit them in a known location where they can be monitored and controlled later. Soybean, wheat, and other crops harvested with a grain header are ideal choices for harvest weed seed control (HWSC). Other crops such as cotton and corn need further equipment development to make HWSC a viable option.

If you are considering adding harvest weed seed control (HWSC) to your weed control program there are excellent resources on the WeedSmart website to help guide you through the initial decisions and the implementation of this important weed control tool.

3 steps to get it working for you

1. Decide which system fits your farm best.

2. Get maximum weed seed into the header.

3. Know how to manage the collected weed seed.

What is Harvest Weed Seed Control?

Choose The Best System For You

Which system is best?

HWSC is being rapidly adopted in Australia and other countries around the world. There are six systems currently being used on Australian farms and they have been initially developed by farmers.

Research has demonstrated that all are very effective weed seedbank management tactics for a range of weed species, achieving over 80 percent control and for some nearly 100 percent.

See HWSC in Action

Over 80% weed control for species that retain seed at harvest

Crop residue management

There are six systems currently used to collect and manage weed seed at harvest. They can be grouped according to the way crop residue is managed: chaff only or chaff + straw.

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CHAFF ONLY

Chaff carts are a tow-behind unit on the combine that collects the weed seed-laden chaff, which can then be placed into piles that are later either grazed by livestock, burnt, or both and sown through the following season. Chaff carts are often chosen for use on mixed cropping and livestock farms in Australia as the chaff is an excellent livestock feed; however, spreading manure back onto fields can allow for further seed spread.

Chaff lining funnels the chaff and weed seeds into narrow rows behind the combine, where the residue is left to overwinter. The weed seeds are exposed to natural elements that can lead to weed seed decay and predation. Typically a follow-up herbicide application is required. – Chaff lining is usually considered a good entry-level HWSC option.

Chaff decks (chaff tramlining) are similar to chaff lining, but place the chaff in one or both of the combine’s wheel tracks. The added compaction from the wheels can be beneficial in controlled traffic systems.

Impact mills run the chaff through a mill that pulverizes (destroys) the weed seed, which is then spread across the fields. This technology is usually considered the ultimate in HWSC.

CHAFF + STRAW

Bale direct collects all the crop residue directly from the combine and compacts it into large bales suitable for sale.

Narrow windrow burning collects all of the crop chaff and straw residue, and funnels it into narrow rows in the field. These rows are burnt to destroy the weed seed. This method is effective but removes all of the crop residue from the field.

Learn More About Each System in This Research Report

Calculate the cost

While each HWSC tactic is similarly effective in collecting weed seeds , they vary considerably in capital and ownership cost, nutrient removal costs, operational costs, and labor costs. Some HWSC tactics involve the purchase of substantial machinery – such as an impact mill, chaff cart, or chaff deck – but the operational and labor costs might be lower than methods such as narrow windrow burning, which involves low set-up costs but higher nutrient losses and labor costs associated with burning. Chaff lining is often chosen as the best entry-level tactic that requires minimal set-up cost, no additional labor and minimal nutrient loss or redistribution. To calculate the cost of each method for your farm you can use a calculator developed by WeedSmart’s Peter Newman. Download the calculator or learn more @ Calculating the cost of HWSC for your farm.

Weed and Seed Strategy

This report presents an overview on the Weed and Seed Strategy developed under the U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Weed and Seed, a multi-agency initiative in crime control and prevention.

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Operation Weed and Seed was developed in 1991 by the U.S. Department of Justice as a strategy based on four fundamental principles: collaboration, coordination, community participation, and leveraging resources with a multi-agency approach to law enforcement, crime prevention, and neighborhood restoration. The approach is two-fold. First, law enforcement agencies and prosecutors must work together to “weed out” criminals from a specific target area. Then, the “seeding” process begins and brings prevention, intervention, treatment, and neighborhood revitalization services to the area. The Weed and Seed Strategy requires some key elements: (1) a steering committee to offer a governing structure for the initiative and (2) a strategic plan developed by assessing community problems and needs, sound resolutions and responses, and obtaining the necessary resources and participation. Today, Weed and Seed has grown to more than 300 high-crime neighborhoods across the country.

Seed, Feed and Weed to Succeed

In my earlier article I used the sports management analogy to make the case for actively managing the skills, skill levels and composition of your team. In this note I’ll discuss the topic of how to manage those activities. For this, we’ll leave sports and use a gardening analogy.

Even a novice gardener would not expect to rake some soil, throw some seeds, pray for rain and wait for a beautiful garden. Your team is no different; you must undertake the same activities in managing your team as you would in creating a successful garden.

Selecting the right flowers for our garden means paying attention not only to how they look, but how they will interact with the other flowers in our garden; will they steal too many nutrients or will the soil properly support their needs?

Managers in hyper-growth companies spend a lot of time interviewing and selecting candidates but usually not very much time on a per candidate basis and even less time pondering where they’ve gone wrong in hiring in the past. Finding the right individual for your job means paying attention to your past failures in hiring and correcting them. We might interview for skills, but overlook critical items like cultural or team fit. Why have you had to remove people? Why have people decided to leave?

Candidate selection also means paying attention to the needs of the organization from a productivity and quality perspective. Do you really need another engineer or product manager, or do your pipeline inefficiencies indicate additional process definition needs, tools engineers or quality assurance personnel?

One final point here is that far too often we try to make hiring decisions after we’ve spent 30 minutes to an hour with a candidate. We encourage you to spend as much time as possible with the candidate and try to make a good hire the first time. Seek help in interviewing or add people whom you trust and whom have great interviewing skills to your interview team to increase your chances of a good hire the first time. Call previous managers and peers and be mindful to ask and prod for weaknesses of individuals in your background checks.

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Feeding your garden means spending time growing your team. Of all the practices in tending to your team, this is the one that is most often overlooked for lack of time.

The intent of feeding is to help grow the members of your team who are producing to the expectations of your shareholders. Feeding consists of coaching, praising, correcting technique or approach, adjusting compensation and equity and anything else that creates a stronger and more productive employee.

Feeding your garden also means taking individuals who might not be performing well in one position and putting them into positions where they can perform well. However, if you find yourself moving an employee more than once it is likely that you are avoiding the appropriate action of weeding.

Also, feeding your garden means raising the bar on the team overall and helping them achieve greater levels of success. Great teams enjoy great but achievable challenges and it’s your job as a manager and executive to challenge them to be the best they can be.

While you should invest as much as possible in seeding and feeding, we all know that underperforming and nonperforming individuals choke team productivity just as surely as weeds steal vital nutrients from the producers within your garden. The nutrients that are being stolen in this case are the time that you spend attempting to coach underperforming individuals to an acceptable performance level and the time your team spends compensating for an underperforming individual’s poor results.

Weeding our gardens is often the most painful activity for most managers and executives and as a result it is often the one to which we tend last.

While you must abide by your company’s practices regarding the removal of people who are not performing (these practices vary not only by country but very often by state), it is vital that you find ways to quickly remove personnel who are keeping you and the rest of your team from achieving your objectives. The sooner you remove them, the sooner you can find an appropriate replacement and get your team where it needs to be.

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