Growers with unseeded acres need to consider weed control options

Growers across the West have been faced with a number challenges this season that have left many acres unseeded.

Growers across the West have been faced with a number challenges this season that have left many acres unseeded. Cold, wet conditions this spring followed by devastating summer hail storms and flooding have taken millions of acres out of production.

Affected growers will need to think about how to best manage those acres since weed control will be a key concern as preparations for next year begin. Weed management strategies such as chemfallow, pre-harvest and post-harvest applications should be considered as a part of weed management practice.

Unlike traditional summer-fallow, chemfallow can save growers a lot of time since there is no need for tillage. But growers will need to take the time to properly scout fields for weed type and size in order to spray herbicides at the proper timing.

Historically, as many as three applications of glyphosate have been applied to chemfallow rotations to control weeds. But with the confirmation of glyphosate-resistant weeds in all three Prairie provinces, tank-mixing will be more important than ever.

Western Canada has seen glyphosate-resistant kochia spread from a few sites in southern Alberta to multiple sites across three provinces. Adding an additional mode of action to glyphosate is going to be critical in helping delay the weed from continuing to spread.

“Proper herbicide rotation and tank-mixing with glyphosate wherever possible is extremely important and is a practice that is going to help control weeds in the long term,” said Danielle Eastman, Western Herbicides Brand Manager for BASF Canada. “Distinct herbicide provides multiple modes of action on tough-to-control broadleaf weeds like kochia and is an excellent option in chemfallow or post-harvest.”

In the past we have seen resistance develop in chemfallow fields as they often receive multiple applications of glyphosate. Using multiple modes of action when controlling weeds on chemfallow fields will be extremely important as affected growers try to put this season behind them and prepare for next year.