Kentucky may be known more for tobacco production than wheat production, but Jeff Coke of Calhoun is proving that wheat is more than just viable in western Kentucky.
Coke farms with his son-in-law, Jason Crisp, who started out as a hired hand and married into the family. Their farm grows 600 to 1,000 acres of soft red winter wheat in a rotation that involves corn followed by a double crop of wheat and soybeans. They no-till wheat behind corn and plant soybeans into wheat stubble the next summer. His wheat yields have been impressive.
“We’ve had some good luck with wheat yields,” he says. “We’ve posted some of the top yields in the state in recent years.”
If there’s a downside to Coke’s highly successful wheat production, it’s the opportunity for weeds to get away from him in spring before he plants soybeans.
“We strive to have good, thick, healthy wheat stands to block out weeds through spring,” Coke says. “But if it rains too much or the wheat is thin, weeds can be a real problem for soybeans.”
Marestail control has been the worst issue to date. Coke reports the herbicides he was using for marestail weren’t working well. And Palmer amaranth is appearing in fields to boot. He’s hoping Kentucky doesn’t become well known for crops of difficult weeds.
“I chose Pioneer brand Enlist E3 soybeans because I thought the 2,4-D choline in Enlist herbicides would control the marestail,” he says. “Enlist works well.”
Coke believes in multiple modes of action. This year, he applied Trivence® herbicide, a residual product, right after cutting wheat. It suppressed weeds well, he says. He typically likes to get a postemergence application down 14-21 days after planting soybeans. He applies Enlist Duo® herbicide, a blend of 2,4-D choline and glyphosate. Coke says glyphosate still provides valuable grass control. He generally follows with a second post application of Liberty® herbicide for another effective site of action.
Coke indicates lots of farmers in his area have been trying systems featuring dicamba herbicide postemergence on soybeans. He says some of them have experienced drift problems.
“I’ve never used dicamba in season,” he says. “We have vineyards and greenhouses in the area. I don’t want any lawsuits.”
Enlist Duo herbicide meets his needs.
“I’ve seen no drift, no volatility, no damage,” he says.
As one of the first farmers in the area to apply Enlist™ herbicides, Coke has had plenty of neighbors ask him what he thinks of the product. Coke says after what they’re seeing on his farm and other farms, he expects several will be moving to the Enlist system in 2021.
If Coke’s neighbors get the same excellent weed control he’s getting in his elite Enlist E3® varieties, they may make Kentucky well known for soybean yields.
Enlist E3 soybeans
Enlist Duo® herbicide is not registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your area. Enlist Duo herbicide is the only 2,4-D product authorized for use in Enlist crops. Always read and follow label directions.
Trivence® is not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Always read and follow label directions.