UT Extension

Controlling weed lawns, pasture and hayfields is often a matter of timing. Nuisances like buttercups are easily removed with herbicides, but many producers don't think about spraying weed killers until it is too late for spraying to be effective. Dr. Gary Bates, our U.T. Extension - Forage Specialist recommends producers pay attention to the following concerns to help them control buttercup and similar pasture pests.

1.  Spray.  Buttercup and thistle need to be sprayed before they bloom. Three days of 60 degrees F or higher temperatures are needed to activate weed growth, so pay attention to weather patterns. If leaves show damage from recent frost, wait for new growth.

2.  What to spray? Bates recommends the ester formulation of 2,4-D as an effective weed killer.  However, there are several brand names and formulations of 2,4-D, so read the label to make sure you are getting the proper chemical.

3.  How much to spray? Most brands of 2,4-D are formulated with four pounds of active ingredient per gallon. With this formulation, two pints per acre in at least 20 gallons of water per acre will be successful.  Be sure to read and follow all label instructions.

4.  Do control measures affect clover? This rate of 2,4-D will kill all red clover, but will do minimal damage to established white clover.  Do not seed clover for six weeks after herbicide application.


Field Corn Planting Time is here

Corn planting time is about here. Corn development is mainly related to temperature and not day length; therefore, corn can be planted earlier in the spring than other field crops. So, says a publication by University of Tennessee row crops specialist Angela McClure. The publication, Planting Corn for Grain in Tennessee, is available online at http://www.utcrops.com or through our UT Extension Office – Coffee County.

According to McClure, for corn good germination and emergence are likely when soil temperatures at a 2-inch depth is 55 degrees F by 9:00 a.m. for three consecutive days and the short-term weather forecast looks favorable. This can occur as early as late March in southwestern Tennessee and counties bordering Alabama in central Tennessee. Most counties west of the Tennessee River begin planting in early April; by mid-April for Middle and East Tennessee counties.

More than 90 percent of Coffee County field corn is grown in no-till systems. McClure says where a conventional seedbed is used, fields should be tilled at least two weeks before planting to allow cover crop or vegetation to decompose. “Disk as needed to prepare a firm, uniform seedbed that will make it easier for proper placement of the seed,” she said. McClure’s publication says achieving a good stand is the first step to successful production. She summarizes these tips for good production results:

• Follow seed company guidelines for target seeding rate.

• Adjust seeding rate to the yield potential of the field.

• Plant as early as soil temperature allows (55 degrees F. 2 inches deep by 9 a.m., 3 days in a row).

• Plant 1½ -2 inches deep.

• Close the seed furrow properly.

• Calibrate and check behind the planter often.

• Drive at recommended speeds to improve the stand.

• Control insects as needed.

For more information on recommended varieties visit www.UTCrops.com or visit our UT-TSU Extension Office – Coffee County located in the Coffee County Administrative Plaza.