Extension Ag Update
May/June 2006
Articles Research Resources Internet Links Ag Facts Education


Publications Plus –University of Illinois Agricultural and Horticultural Publications

Call 1-800-345-6087 or order on the web www.PublicationsPlus.uiuc.edu. It’s a one-stop shop for a current catalog of research-based information (Mastercard and VISA accepted)

WeedSOFT Yield Loss and Tank Mix Calculators

Aaron Hager and Dawn Nordby, University of Illinois Extension, Department of Crop Sciences

Two new weed management tools are available for use on the Web. The first is the WeedSOFT yield loss calculator, designed to estimate the yield loss from emerged weeds in corn or soybeans. This could represent weeds being controlled either in a total post program or in a respray or second-flush situation. Just select your state, enter a few pieces of information about the crop and weeds, and then click the calculate yield loss button. In these postemergence scenarios, the calculator will estimate the yield loss from early-season weed competition (yield loss up to that stage of growth), the loss if weeds are not controlled until the next growth stage, and total loss for the season if these weeds were not controlled. In addition to the estimated yield loss in bushels per acre, the dollar loss per acre is presented.

The second tool is the WeedSOFT Tank Mix Calculator. This tool has two great features. First, it calculates herbicide and adjuvant quantities that are needed to mix loads based on your spray volume (GPA), tank size, and the herbicide rates you enter. Second, it creates a printable load ticket that can double as a record-keeping form. It also has U.S. EPA registration numbers for a large number of herbicides, that are automatically loaded when you select your herbicide.

Both tools work rapidly over the Internet, even with dial-up service. Please check both of them out at weedsoft.unl.edu/weedsoftapps.htm. These tools are just two parts of the complete WeedSOFT software program, which provides a more complete analysis of herbicide management options and economic returns in corn and soybeans. The WeedSOFT software is available for $50 to purchase and can be updated yearly for $40. WeedSOFT is a decision support system (DSS) designed to assist growers, consultants, and Extension agents in making both proactive and reactive weed management decisions. WeedSOFT provides you with the treatment information you need according to your specific field conditions while factoring in economic and environmental principles. If you are interested in learning more about the full software program or online ordering, visit the WeedSOFT home page at weedsoft.unl.edu.

Identifying Natural Enemies in Field Crops

This timely pocket guide has color pictures of common beneficial insects – both predators and parasitoids – and spiders. It provides information on identification, lifecycle and diet. The pocket guide has glossy pages and a spiral binding, so you can use it in the field. Although it is geared for field crops, it is appropriate for use in other crops and by homeowners. Now available from the MSU Extension Bulletin office: MSU Bulletin inventory number E2949. The cost is $10 per copy, $7 per copy for bulk orders (10 or more copies). To order contact: MSU Bulletin office,117 Central Services, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1001, Phone: 517-353-6740, www.emdc.msue.msu.edu.

Energy Estimator for Irrigation

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has just released a Web-based calculator tool designed to help producers manage their irrigation water resources more efficiently. It evaluates opportunities to save on energy costs and improve efficiency of irrigation management. It allows producers to estimate the energy cost of pumping water for irrigation on their farm. Producers enter information about their irrigation system and crops, then receive an analysis of current water use, the reduced water use associated with various treatment options, as well as the energy costs and savings of these treatment options.