This is looking to be another beautiful week here in the Pacific Northwest. Possibly showers today, but then some more great calm spraying weather ahead! This time of year is usually when we start to look at spraying some Plant Growth Regulator. Which may sound strange, because don’t you want plants to grow more and more so you get more and more yields? The answer would be yes, except for this incredible technology that actually helps your plants yield more and stay shorter.
We use this spray on our perennial ryegrass fields for seed. These are seeds that are sold all over the world for lawns, golf courses, soccer fields, the White House lawns, etc. So at this point the grass is growing and the flag leaf is out, when we spray this chemical it stops the stem from growing and takes all that energy instead and puts it towards developing the seeds!
This isn’t just a way to get a yield increase, it is also a very good way to help us out down the road at harvest time. Once the grass is ripe, we use a machine called a swather to cut the grass into rows. When the grass is shorter, because of this application, it doesn’t lay down so much on the ground. So when we go through with the cutting machine, it cuts more evenly and smoothly. We don’t get plugged up nearly as much as we used to. I might also add that we swath grass in the middle of the night, so getting plugged up is about the more frustrating thing when you’re exhausted and just wishing you were in your bed!
When we go across fields we try, if we can, to bundle applications. This helps to reduce crop damage, save fuel and time. So this time we will also put in some fungicide to help combat any early signs of rust that are on the fields. Rust is a fungus that grows on the plants and can be extremely detrimental to your yield if you let it get out of control. The crazy thing is that it literally looks like rust on the plants, even comes off on your hands with a sort of reddish color, just like true rust would.
So that is my big project this week, enjoy the nice weather and go put on some sprays that are going to help the plant stay strong and fight off diseases as they come their way in the next few months! Hope you all have a good week!