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2+2love

Organic weed control

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My grandad switched his farm to organic when I was in high school.  I built a weed flamer one summer when I was 16/17.  Couldn't buy them back then, but they made the burner.  You had to make the tool.  We tried a lot of things over the years.  One thing I'll say is I didn't see you mention using a rotary hoe.  If you aren't using that tool, you are missing great opportunity to cut back on weed pressure before you ever see the weeds emerge.  Hoe is a great tool, and it's fast. 

After spending years as organic, and putting out some crops of my own, I can tell you without a doubt that you can't farm that way on a large scale, and the income is pretty comparable to conventional.  Most guys get excited about the high price paid for the grain, but fail to figure in cost of fuel for the 10 trips or more across the field with narrow equipment, labor, cleaning equipment, and the big one, wear and tear on the equipment along with all the other costs. You spend that much time going over and over the fields, your tractors log some serious hours.  Then, if you are going through a grain dealer (which you have to) you lose some there.  But we tripled the hours put on two tractors in a year, maybe more, going organic.  All things considered, you work a **** of a lot harder, and make about the same money.  In my opinion, it's a specialized market and should be treated as such.  I wouldn't want to go back to it anytime soon.  I think the best way to farm, is somewhere in between.  Use some chemical, get away from no-till altogether, pull a plow through the ground a minimum of every 7 years (plow XX acres a year until everything has been plowed).  Use a hoe, and possibly cultivate once. 

We've been trying some different combinations on my cousins farm.  As of yet, haven't found the magic combination.  As if there is such a thing in farming, lol. 

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1 hour ago, 2+2love said:

We are going to try doing our last tillage pass then plant 3 days later next year. That way the weeds will be more advanced then crop and hopefuly the flamer will kill more weeds. 

As a past organic farmer, I'm going to tell you that is a bad idea.  Don't do it.  You'll never be able to get control if the weeds are ahead of the crop.

Plant right behind the field work, then rotary hoe every 3/4 days.  Do that until it's big enough to cultivate and flame.  I promise, you will look at the field and think it doesn't need hoe'd, but it does.  A hoe kills the weed just after they germinate.  Kills them BEFORE you can see them.  Don't believe me, try it.  If you can see weeds, it's past hoeing.  Oh, the hoe may get a few.... but it's job is pre emerge. 

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47 minutes ago, J-Mech said:

As a past organic farmer, I'm going to tell you that is a bad idea.  Don't do it.  You'll never be able to get control if the weeds are ahead of the crop.

Plant right behind the field work, then rotary hoe every 3/4 days.  Do that until it's big enough to cultivate and flame.  I promise, you will look at the field and think it doesn't need hoe'd, but it does.  A hoe kills the weed just after they germinate.  Kills them BEFORE you can see them.  Don't believe me, try it.  If you can see weeds, it's past hoeing.  Oh, the hoe may get a few.... but it's job is pre emerge. 

We direct market all crops. 20 + years certified we have made some good connections. We use a rotory hoe. Right now were farming 600 acres and its just my dad and i for labor. 

We clean and save seed for replanting. Our system works for us. We are doing good and looking for more acres. 

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11 hours ago, TP from Central PA said:

Is the Force with you when you run it?

More likely to need it when you are buying it!!!!

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6 minutes ago, Rawleigh99 said:

More likely to need it when you are buying it!!!!

Hans Solo haul it then?

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Very interesting stuff 2+2.  Thanks for posting.  We would like to see more.  We learn something everyday.

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1 hour ago, Rawleigh99 said:

Very interesting stuff 2+2.  Thanks for posting.  We would like to see more.  We learn something everyday.

X2 . What kind of fertilizer are you allowed to use?

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49 minutes ago, dale560 said:

X2 . What kind of fertilizer are you allowed to use?

Lots of cow manure and composted chicken manure. High calcium lime. Boron. Soft rock phosphate. Stuff like that.

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The front mount weed zapper reminds me of the front wick bar we used for volunteer corn in soybeans when I was young.

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21 hours ago, TP from Central PA said:

Is the Force with you when you run it?

Darth Weeder 

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7 hours ago, 2+2love said:

Lots of cow manure and composted chicken manure. High calcium lime. Boron. Soft rock phosphate. Stuff like that.

Is the cow and chicken manure from certified organic animals? Reason I ask is that I am told that the  manaur from contract pig barns around here can be used on organic fields. I am baffled how as the water is medicated at times in these barns 

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23 minutes ago, bitty said:

Is the cow and chicken manure from certified organic animals? Reason I ask is that I am told that the  manaur from contract pig barns around here can be used on organic fields. I am baffled how as the water is medicated at times in these barns 

We can’t have chicken in the hoop house . They have to be out before planting tomatoes 

 

 

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55 minutes ago, bitty said:

Is the cow and chicken manure from certified organic animals? Reason I ask is that I am told that the  manaur from contract pig barns around here can be used on organic fields. I am baffled how as the water is medicated at times in these barns 

Cow manure is from our farm.

Chicken is not, but okay to use in organic production after its been composted.

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Really enjoyed your pics and your explanation of how you do things. Very interesting. I admire your dedication to the organic farming and your ingenuity. Thanks for posting the pics and answering the questions.

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26 minutes ago, 2+2 Guy said:

Really enjoyed your pics and your explanation of how you do things. Very interesting. I admire your dedication to the organic farming and your ingenuity. Thanks for posting the pics and answering the questions.

X2

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On 9/5/2019 at 12:38 PM, 2+2love said:

Lots of cow manure and composted chicken manure. High calcium lime. Boron. Soft rock phosphate. Stuff like that.

Have you ever used a mychorhizae type fertilizer before? Theres a product up here that is approved for organic production. We use it but we are not organic

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12 hours ago, db1486 said:

Have you ever used a mychorhizae type fertilizer before? Theres a product up here that is approved for organic production. We use it but we are not organic

Is that the Back to your Roots stuff? 

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4 hours ago, IH766 said:

Is that the Back to your Roots stuff? 

No they got some different products. I think they would work well too. We use what is now called Agtiv

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17 hours ago, db1486 said:

Have you ever used a mychorhizae type fertilizer before? Theres a product up here that is approved for organic production. We use it but we are not organic

No we have not. Don't know anything about it.

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4 hours ago, 2+2love said:

No we have not. Don't know anything about it.

Stuff we use is called Agtiv. They got all different products now. Its approved for Organic production in Canada, but I dont know about in the US. I know they never got in to that market but I'm not sure if they're still just Canada only.

It's a mychorhizal fungi that gets the roots working and spread out to access more nutrients in the soil. We've cut our fertilizer use in half and pretty much cut out phos all together. The Agtiv really helps the phos uptake of the plant by utilizing what is in the soil. It's pretty interesting stuff. And all natural. No synthetic products in the innoculant. Comes from a company in Quebec. I'm sure theres other similar products out there on the south side of the border

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Wow! Those are beautiful! As a frustrated Organic dabbler I'm impressed.

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29 minutes ago, exSW said:

Wow! Those are beautiful! As a frustrated Organic dabbler I'm impressed.

Half the conventional fields here don't look that good.

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2 minutes ago, TP from Central PA said:

Half the conventional fields here don't look that good.

No volunteer RR corn. No leftover stalks from last years triple stack hybrids. :ph34r:

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2 hours ago, exSW said:

No volunteer RR corn. No leftover stalks from last years triple stack hybrids. :ph34r:

A real crop rotation helps a lot. 

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