Kill (dren) of the Corn.
Planting, spraying, and maintaining a cornfield can be tough work. The information in this article will help you to manage this process and save countless hours of labor…which means you have more time to spend on your haunt…AND more money in your pocket! This article will help steer you down the right “path”….
© Alexis Abare and Benjamin Selecky, Haunted Farms of America
“These conditions are best for the herbicide to work effectively.“
The variety of corn that you choose will determine how it will grow and how you can create your path through it. Grain corn will be denser and will grow taller, resulting in a better field for the purposes of the haunt. The pattern you plant will also have an impact on the finished product.When you plant corn in a checkerboard pattern, it is a really high density crop. Because of this, it is particularly important that the plants have adequate nutrients and water. Good field prep is key, and doing things early to keep weeds at bay and prepare for your path can save many headaches as the season progresses.
If the weeds are left unchecked, they compete with the corn for water and nutrients. This can result in a stunted growth process for the corn, a less dense field, or a complete overpowering of the corn by the weeds. It is best to address the weeds early and treat as necessary as the field grows. Right after you plant the cornfield, but BEFORE the corn sprouts is an opportune time to treat for weeds. Once the corn sprouts, depending on the variety of corn, etc., you run the risk of inadvertently killing corn you intend- ed to keep alive.
How do I kill my weeds?
If the corn that you planted IS a Roundup ready variety, you can simply spray roundup at any time to kill any weeds that are present. A backpack sprayer is a great way to kill the weeds with pinpoint accuracy. If the corn that you planted IS NOT Roundup ready, you can use Callisto. This is an herbicide that will kill the weeds without harming your corn.
Callisto is a product from Syngenta Group Company. Please check your state for availability, regulations, safety, and mixing directions. Another distributor/manufacturer may call this something different, but check the active ingredients and labels for equivalent herbicides. If you did not treat the field early, and are killing the weeds later in the season, it is a good idea to hit the field with fertilizer since it is likely behind on the growth schedule.
Laying out your grid.
Start with an aerial shot of your field. Plot your path in scale on graph paper. Once you have this, it will be much easier to move through your field and know where to spray. A few markers in the field at important points can help you to keep your path on track. Make sure you account for the width of the path itself when you are plotting your field. When you are spraying, you can adjust your nozzle on the sprayer to get the desired width path. A 36” to 48” path is pretty standard and allows for good access and passage. 10 feet in-between each path allows for good camouflage so they are hidden from each other. This 10 foot buffer becomes especially important later in the season once the corn begins to thin and die. It also allows good space for you to create hideaways and cutouts for your actors to hide and haunt.
How do I kill my corn?
It is easiest to kill the corn when it is small and freshly sprouted. The taller the corn, the more estab- lished the root system is, and the harder it is to kill the plant. Spending hours in the fields cutting a path is hard work. Spraying early will eliminate man hours needed for the project of clearing the path which means you can spend more time creating your haunt.
The first question to ask is whether or not the variety of corn you planted is Roundup ready or not. If the corn IS NOT Roundup ready, you can spray Roundup on any weeds and corn that you want to kill. If the corn IS Roundup ready, then you will need to use a different herbicide. Use either Tapout or Select herbicides and spray on corn as early as possible for most effective use. Be sure to check your local regulations for use and the product label for mixing directions and safety precautions. You can also use other herbicides. Check the labels for the active ingredients in order to find an equivalent product in your state.
It is best to spray the corn killer on a hot day, when no rain is expected for a period of time. These conditions are best for the herbicide to work effectively. Once you spray the corn, you should see sign of death in just a few days. The plants will brown and shrivel…and voila…you have a nice clean path to work with!