I started no-tilling about five years ago and about four years ago bought a little sprayer so I could do all my own spraying (there's a story behind that decision that I might share sometime). After waiting and waiting for it to rain to make sure most of the weeds had sprouted, I finally decided to go ahead and spray the field where I plan on planting grain sorghum this year. I'm only planting about 40 acres of grain sorghum "early" (although I'm also planning on double-cropping about 50 acres, and planting some sorghum-sudangrass for hay), so the spraying goes relatively quick.
Today, I sprayed a pre-emergent herbicide to mainly control any crabgrass, and some glyphosate (RoundUp, etc.) to kill any weeds that were already growing.
I don't know how anyone reading this feels about herbicides, but the pre-emergent is basically the same stuff that people spread on their lawns to control crabgrass, and depending on who you talk to, glyphosate is either a harmless herbicide used by a lot of people around their houses or it's a poison that's being used in some evil plot by Monsanto to control the world. I tend to think that it's a useful herbicide that has pros and cons, and I'd rather spray a quart per acre of glyphosate and kill most of the weeds instead of tilling the snot out of that field, burning through most of my organic matter to control the weeds, and losing what little water I had stored in the ground.
The toughest part about spraying is trying to keep the tip of the boom from hitting the top of a terrace or fence, watching the speed and pressures, and following the GPS. It's hard to get some decent photos while driving around and doing all that, but here's a few.
|Looking Back at the Boom|
|Looking Forward to the Left|
|Looking North Towards the Wheat|
The next step is spreading some fertilizer, planting the sorghum, and then hoping for some rain.