Would you like to have a weed-free bean farm?
I bet you’ve answered yes.
In this post I reveal 3 amazing strategies that will help you…
- Have a farm that is absolutely free of weeds,
- Cut your weeding expenses by 80%
- Complete weeding an acre of beans for less than 2 hours using herbicides instead of taking the usual 4 days using hand tilling.
Before I started using the strategies, I could weed my farm only to have the weeds regrow after 2 to 3 weeks.
That would force me to re-weed the farm again.
Weeding 3 times (in a season) was the norm rather than an exception.
Can you imagine the hustle of weeding a farm several times in a season?
However, things changed when I started using the strategies that I am sharing here.
That’s why I am really excited to share them… so that you too may have success when it comes to weeding.
Here’s How Weeds Can Ruin The Best Farmer
Before I started using the weed control strategies outlined here, I could weed my farm 3 times in one season.
Imagine weeding 3 times…
“Paying labourers who often did a lousy weeding job.”
That’s not all.
During the growing season, I always ran the risk of having a dramatic drop of bean yields.
“A little delay in weeding, could result in weeds executing a COMPLETE TAKE OVER of the farm.
When I went to check on the farm, I would find weeds have already covered the crops.
Have you experienced something similar?
When you delayed weeding by 1 week or so, only to find your farm in a pathetic bushy-condition?
For that reason, I consider weeds my sworn enemy.
Weeds are so dangerous that…
Kenyan, American, European agricultural experts, and even the Food Agriculture Organisation FAO say,
“Weeds can make a whole nation go hungry.”
Despite all gloom and doom, there’s good news.
Read on and you’ll find what I did to solve the weed problem.
Research Shows Weeds Can Lead to A Fearful 75% Crop Loss
While preparing to write this post, I bumped into a research finding by the highly revered Weed Science Society of America.
It was about the losses caused by weeds.
This is what the society had to say:
“On an annual basis potential loss in value for corn is $27 billion, and for soybean is $16 billion based on data from 2007 to 2013.”
“Overall, average % yield loss with no weed control in corn is 52% and 49.5% in soybeans.”
That finding grieved my heart.
It confirmed my horrendous feelings about the impact weeds have on farming.
If weeds can hit America so hard… the most advanced farming nation in the world.
What would happen about developing nations like Kenya?”
“If only bean farmers knew the secret to controlling weeds, bean farming would be highly profitable.”
I said regrettably.
The society was not the only one crying about the financial losses caused by weeds.
Another weed study done by Mruthul et Al., 2015 came to the same conclusion.
“Yield losses due to weeds range between 14-75%”
I could go on and on—quoting study after study.
But let me stop there.
What is clear is, “Other than natural calamities like flooding and farming, weeds are a number # 1 cause of loss to farmers.”
For that reason…
If you grow beans or any crop, never ever joke with weeds.
I’m not saying this to scare you.
I’m saying it, so that you may truly appreciate the need to give weed control top priority attention.
3 Top Strategies Proven to Reduce Weed Pressure.
- Prepare your land well,
- Use herbicides efficiently,
- Practice Crop Rotation.
These strategies may seem like a no-brainer.
It is therefore expected that ALL farmers would be using them.
However, existing data shows otherwise.
It shows that weeds have won the war.
- “60% of farmers around the world do not know how and when to prepare their land.” They either plough their land too soon or too late.
- Farmers use the wrong tools or machinery to till their land,
- 90% of farmers around the world never use herbicides despite the fact that herbicides are 95% more effective than hand Weeding.
No wonder every year farmers suffer up to 75% loss of harvests due to weeds.
Weed Control Strategy #1. Land Preparation:
How to Prepare Your Land So that Weeds Don’t Become a Nightmare?
To succeed in dominating weeds, you have to prepare the land according to its status.
Let me explain.
Land is often in two statuses.
- Fallow land,
- Land that has been in production.
These two types of land status determine the steps you take to control weeds.
Assuming that you are beginning with fallow land, follow these steps.
- Clear the land by slashing big/large weeds.
- Uproot shrubs that can’t be slashed by a mower or machete.
- Spray a non-selective herbicide like Roundup onto the slashed vegetation.
- Let the land rest for 2 weeks. Doing so will allow the herbicide to take start killing the weeds from the roots upwards.
- Re-spray herbicide on the patches that were not killed by the weeds.
- Plough the land once the herbicide has killed the vegetation.
- Let the land stay for two weeks after ploughing. Doing so will allow the big soil clods to break through the action of weather elements like wind, dew and sunshine.
- 2 weeks later, harrow the land to make it fine for seed planting.
- Plant your bean seeds and wait for them to germinate.
*Important Success Tips Regarding the use of Roundup:
- Slashing the perennial weeds severely stresses the weeds. When you immediately spray herbicide on them, they are likely to die.
- Mature shrubs, couch grass, and other perennial weeds are often resistant to herbicides. To kill them you may have to use a higher dosage of herbicide. Use 20% more than the recommended dosage for guaranteed results.
- Follow as instructions indicated on the label of the herbicide bottle.
Preparing Land that Has Been Under Crop Production to Win Against Weeds
Such land will likely have seasonal weeds.
The seasonal weeds include black Jack, gallant soldier, devil’s thorn, fat hen etc.
To succeed in controlling weeds on such a farm, follow these steps religiously.
- Plough the land on time before the start of rains,
- Harrow the land to a fine tilt,
- Plant the bean seeds and wait until they germinate.
- As the beans germinate, weeds will germinate alongside the beans.
- Wait until the weeds have 3-4 true leaves.
- Use Bentazone/ Beansclean to control the weeds that emerge in the company with beans.
- Follow this link for more information on how to use Bentazone (a bean herbicide), and the possible challenge you may face.
Weed Control Strategy #2. Efficient Use of Herbicides
You cannot do without herbicides in weed control.
If you want to control weeds effectively, herbicides are an absolute necessity.
“Herbicides are an effective missile against weeds.” That’s my take and I have no apologies about it.
6 Reasons for Using Herbicides. They…
- Kill up to 95% of the existing weed population. That’s unlike ploughing and hand weeding that kills 40% of the weed population.
- Allow 2 men finish working on 1 acre in 2 hours. That can’t be said of hand weeding. 5 men will need 1 week to complete weeding one acre.
- Cause little or no injury to plants when used correctly. The same cannot be said about hand weeding.
- Hand Weeding causes root injuries that result to drying of a lot of beans.
- Saves time and energy because you use better equipment like knapsacks and boom sprayers.
- Saves money. 1 hectare will cost 10,000 shillings (when spraying herbicide) while achieving 95% efficiency. Ordinary tillage/hand tilling will cost 13,500/= shillings while achieving 40% efficiency.
Weed Control Strategy #3: Crop Rotation
Alizera Koocheri and other Iranian scientists did a six-year experiment.
Their study was on the effect of crop rotation on weed population.
For 6 six of thorough testing and experimenting, here is what they found:
“Broadleaf crops in rotation with narrow-leafed crops and also crops with different agronomic practices, can reduce weed seedbank density.”
Follow link to read their full report. Effect of cropping systems and crop rotations on weeds.
Do you know see why crop rotation is important in this weed control strategy?
Crop rotation allows you to:
- Use different herbicide formulations. By doing using you avoid the development of herbicide resistance.
- It is beneficial to soil fertility.
That’s it for now.
If you are planning to grow any crop, follow these strategies.
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