Keith Reynolds of Onarga, Illinois (pictured with his 'mustached' sons) grows non-GMO soybeans for the
premium—around $1.45/bushel—and the lower seed prices. However, Keith acknowledges that weed control is not as straightforward without traited seed. This is where cover crops come into play.
Planning for weed control: Keith selects fields with low weed pressure for planting non-GMO soybeans, noting the lack of options for in-season weed control if the weed pressure is high. “The chemistry isn’t really there for non-GMO beans,” he says. For that reason, cover crops also play an important role in weed suppression.
Keith says that on a sandy, hilltop field, yearly cover crops has all but eliminated what had been a problematic marestail population. He adds that he has seen waterhemp populations decreasing with cover crops as well.
Terminating with non-GMO: Keith plants non-GMO soybeans into growing rye, and a few days later sprays Sonic residual, Roundup, 2,4-D and Ledger before the soybeans emerge.