What is in this article?:
- Philip Grimes farms peanuts, cotton, corn and melons on 1,800 acres in south Georgia, and weeds are not allowed.
- He has weed management strategies for each crop he grows, but they are just individual parts of an overall farm weed management approach with records going back a dozen years.
- He consistantly ranks high in yields for his peanuts, gaining statewide recogntion for many years.
PHILIP GRIMES is an aggressive weed manager who uses many herbicides and a strict crop rotation to keep his fields and the areas around them clear of weed pressure, which is the best long-term strategy to keep weeds at bay down the road in his part of south Georgia.
There’s no way to sugar coat it. Philip Grimes hates weeds.
The only thing he hates worse than a weed growing in or around his fields is a weed allowed to go to seed. He won’t stand for it. All weeds go, and always sooner rather than later.
Mr. Clean? A weed warrior? A perfectionist? Yeah, he could be called all three. He is an aggressive weed manager with a system that works, is flexible enough to adjust as needed and, most importantly, pays off on his farm in high yields.
“If weeds seed out, then they are a tremendous problem the following year. I mean weeds in general, but especially Palmer (amaranth, or pigweed). If you let it seed, then you have thousands of Palmers following that one plant,” Grimes said, in his deliberate but genuine way of speaking.
Glyphosate-resistant pigweed showed up on his farm two years ago, but it had been around the area for much longer. His militant approach to weed management for all weeds likely kept Palmer’s seedbank in check on his farm, buying him time before it hit hard, but still setting him up now to deal with it better.
He farms 1,800 acres of peanuts, watermelon, cantaloupe, cotton and corn in Tift County, Ga., located in the south-central part of the state.
Born there, he’s been farming more than 40 years. He rents two-thirds of his land. He cover crops most of it with rye and burns that rye down when it gets to three feet or a bit taller
Crop rotation is a big part of his overall weed management strategy. He rotates from peanuts to cantaloupe or watermelon to cotton or corn, putting his peanut rotation on a three- to four-year cycle.
“The rotation helps, because we can use different products instead of using the same ones every year and running the risk of getting resistance,” he said. But that is tricky, too. He has to plan a year or more in advance on what will be planted to a specific field and know exactly what will be happening in it to make sure no carryover from herbicides hurts a vulnerable follow-up crop.