He spends $75 to $100 dollars on herbicides per acre on cotton, more than he did a few years ago before resistant Palmer landed.

Corn, with the atrazine-Roundup punch it can bring, costs him $40 per acre.

On peanuts, he spends $60 to $70 per acre on weed control.

So, does being a perfectionist payoff?

Grimes is pretty much a standing member of the University of Georgia, Syngenta and BASF Georgia Peanut Achievement Club, an award given annually to top Georgia peanut farmers.

In recent years, Grimes has locked in a three-ton-plus average per acre for his 600 or so acres of peanuts annually, using the Ga-06G variety.

On a day in mid-September, he had just finished corn harvest. He averaged 291 bushels per acre on his crop this year. Outstanding yields and the best average he says he’s had. But what was in the back of his mind?

“Right now, we just got through harvesting corn. And looking at the fields, you got pigweeds that are already up three or four inches high,” he said, peering from the corner of his eyes and demonstrating dimension with thumb and finger.

“If you don’t get out there and destroy them with a harrower or burndown, they’re going to seed out no matter how tall they are, even at three inches. We went in there with a harrower and got them.”

Again, on that same day in mid-September day, Grimes was in his cotton field, one he intercropped with cantaloupes this year. The field was clean. No weed in sight. But in the roads that crisscross the field, small three- to four-inch Palmers popped up. “See that seed head on them, they’ll try and seed out,” he said.

The weeds weren’t Palmer amaranth, or the one resistant to glyphosate, but that didn’t matter now did it. They had to go.

He was working up a sprayer to go hood over the field roads the next day, making sure not to hit the mature, now herbicide-vulnerable cotton on either side.

Even with so much rain causing problems for some cotton in the area, his looked good and was setting up for a good crop.

He sticks with Roundup Ready cotton varieties for now, adding that he’s keeping the Liberty-tolerant cotton option as his back-up weapon against Palmer amaranth. When it is time, he says, he’ll pull that trigger.

Back at his office, he was asked about a small jon boat parked under one of his sheds. Grimes said the boat wasn’t a fishing boat. It was a pond management boat, particularly for irrigation ponds.

“That algae (and weed) will get into the ponds and clog up the pipes. We go in there and spray and clean’em up with that,” pointing at the boat. “Works better that way.”

Yeah, Philip Grimes hates weeds.

brad.haire@penton.com

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