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Cooperative Crop and Livestock Reporting Service (Wis.); Federal-State Crop and Livestock Reporting Service (Wis.); Federal-State Crop Reporting Service (Wis.) / Wisconsin crop and livestock reporter
Vol. XL ([covers January 1961/December 1961])

Wisconsin crop and livestock reporter. Vol. XL, no. 5,   pp. [1]-4 PDF (2.5 MB)


Page [1]


FARM CHEMICALS USED IN WEED AND INSECT CONTROL
WEED, INSECT, AND DISEASE DAMAGE cost farmers
billions of dollars each year. These pests are a uni-
versal problem and are continually in competition with
agricultural plants.
Weeds probably cause the most trouble to more
farmers, but insects and disease can be costly to in-
dividual farmers. Weeds compete with crops for water,
light, space, and plant food. They are frequently hosts
forplant diseases and harmful insects, and are danger-
ous to livestock by causing sickness or death. Weed
infestations result in yield reduction and lower crop
quality, and increase production costs by clogging
machinery and preventing a clean harvest. Weed and
cropplants both thrive best under favorable conditions,
but crops survive better under good conditions while
weeds compete better under poor conditions.
Estimates of Wisconsin's annual loss caused by
weeds may be in excess of 100 million dollars or about
5 dollars per acre. This loss is suffered by agriculture
and excludes losses to railroads, highways, resorts,
and other nonagricultural enterprises.
Probably the most troublesome weed on Wisconsin
farms is quackgrass. It is not easily controlled and is
found in just about all crops. Canada thistle is another
troublesome weed. A weed that appears to be on the
increase in Wisconsin is yellow rocket which gets es-
tablished in alfalfa, red clover, and other hay crops.
The main problems insects present to farmers' crops
are transmitting diseases and feeding on the plant and
affecting the whole plant or certain parts of it, gen-
erally causing it to fall over and interfere with use of
mechanical equipment.
Insects causing the most trouble vary with crops. In
corn, for example, soil insects such as wireworms,
rootworms, cutworms and grubs cause heaviest losses.
Plant stands arereduced and they can become a serious
problem on an individual farm. Insects attacking the
above-ground portion of the corn stalk generally cause
less damage than the insect that feeds on the ro6ts.
In alfalfa fields, grasshoppers, potato leaf hoppers,
and a group of plant bugs cause the most trouble. The
meadow spittlebug causes damage in some areas in
certain years. For small grains, insects cause rela-
tively little damage directly to the plants, but they are
carriers of plant diseases. Because of these problems,
farmers have a growing interest in using farm chemicals
to control weeds and insects. Farm chemicals applied
to cropland can be a timesaver, may do the job for less
cost, and may be more effective than other methods of
weed control.
SURVEY MADE OF 1960 CHEMICALS USE
The Wisconsin Crop Reporting Service conducted a
survey on the use of farm chemicals by Wisconsin's
crop and dairy correspondents. Over 1,300 correspon-
dents reported on using chemicals for weed, insect,
and disease control on their cropland. The survey in-
cluded questions on kind of material, type and method
of treatment, crops and acreage treated, and on owner-
ship of equipment for applying the chemicals.
One out of each three crop and dairy correspondents
reporting in this special survey used a chemical treat-
ment for control of weeds, insects, or disease in the
summer of 1960. Chemical treatment was more frequent
in the southern parts of the state where half the cor-
respondents reported using herbicide or insecticide on
their crops.
CHEMICAL WEED CONTROL, by CROPS
#As reerfed by Wisconsin crop and doiry correspomnens
WFImO.S..t CW  fetOTIIN .*-VIC
Reports were grouped by size of crop acreage, rang-
ing from 50 acres or less to 201 acres or more. Greater
percentages of the farmers in the larger cropland groups
used chemicals for weed and insect control. Of the re-
porting farmers with 50 acres of cropland or less, only
12 percent used chemical treatment while over one-half
of the farmers with 151 to 200 acres of cropland used
chemicals.
Chemical Treatment of Crops and Equipment Ownership1
Reports by Farm Size Groups, Wisconsin, 1960
50 or less
51 - 100
101 - 150
151 - 200
201 or more
emical treatment
on farm
Yes         No
ercent of group
12        88
26        74
36        64
52        48
65        35
Owned field equipment
for applying chemicals
Yes         No
Percent of
6
18
27
52
57
group
94
82
73
48
43
lAs reported by Wisconsin crop and dairy corres-
pondents.
Most of the farmers in the survey used chemical
control treatment only for weed control. Of the farmers
reporting use of chemicals, about 83 percent treated for
weeds only, nearly 7 percent treated for insects and
disease, and slightly over 10 percent treated for both
weeds and insects.
Corn was the crop most often treated for weed con-
trol. Of all crops in the survey treated for weeds, over
I
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