Growing up on a cattle farm doesn’t always lead to working with and researching row crops. However, that’s the path Noah Reed, a research fellow at the University of Arkansas, took. He is part of a research fellowship program funded by the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board. The students participating in the program are conducting hands-on research that brings many benefits to the soybean industry in Arkansas.
“My favorite part is the field research,” Reed said. “Being out in the field, you get to work with a lot of different crops. I’ve worked with rice, soybeans, peanuts, and cotton. You get to learn a lot of different aspects about each crop.”
Reed’s research investigates how the use of fall residuals from distributed herbicides can assist producers in managing weeds, specifically Italian ryegrass, when rotating their planted crop from rice to soybeans. His research includes finding the best nozzles to use for spreading herbicides.
The results of Reed’s research are able to provide producers with some direction and possible alternatives to weed control. He found that the different practices for weed control for rice and soybean crops can make the rotation between the two difficult. By introducing more space between the rows and using a nozzle size for delivering herbicide that is more targeted and doesn’t drift, producers can optimize herbicide application and target specific weeds better.
“The burn down options aren’t getting a good control,” Reed said. “It’s better for farmers to spray the soil than the weeds. Using falls residuals allows farmers to get ahead of the soybean, making it easier to control, even in the spring.”
Producers wanting to know more about Reed’s findings can read his research articles or listen to an episode of the podcast Weeds AR Wild, where he further explains his research.