We’re well into 2022 at this point, but if I could wager a bet, I’d say the true signs of a fresh start will come this spring, as melting snow and thawing ground signify the start of a new crop year.
The beginning of a new season is always exciting, with much anticipation of what’s to come. March means plans are being finalized, seeding starts in some areas, and the teases of spring have producers itching to get going. I’m certain this spring will be an especially welcome new beginning after what many of you experienced in 2021. However, as much as we might like to forget last year altogether for various reasons, we can’t put the past away just yet.
Traditionally, our March issue focuses on weed management, and this issue is no different. But your early season weed strategy may need extra attention this year, especially if you experiencecd drought conditions in 2021. This issue’s cover story is about the risk of herbicide carryover in 2022. As Bruce Barker, our Western Field Editor, writes at the beginning of the article (Assessing the risk of herbicide carryover, beginning on page 6), the effects of the 2021 drought linger like “rubbing salt into a wound,” as herbicide residues left in fields after a lack of adequate moisture in 2021 could pose a risk of injury to 2022 crops. Assessing the risk isn’t cut and dry, according to Clark Brenzil, the provincial specialist – weed control with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture. Brenzil shares a thorough explanation of the many risk factors in the article, and in an exclusive video for the Top Crop Summit (available online at topcropsummit.com). Be sure to review and take the necessary steps to set your incoming crop up for success.
There’s no doubt that other challenges will present themselves this coming year, too. The industry is seeing rising fertilizer costs, supply chain disruptions, labour shortages and other issues related to the ongoing pandemic. But as the articles shared in this issue demonstrate, Canadian farmers are progressive – and they are backed by incredible teams of researchers, scientists, consultants and other industry innovators who work hard to develop strategies and resources. These projects and trials begin years before you read about them in our pages. The processes are long, and there are setbacks and challenges, but the outcome is worth it.
Although there might be lingering residual effects from 2021 against you as this season begins, remember the idea that progress is more important than perfection. Look for the small wins and celebrate them when you can, and continue on with one foot in front of the other.
From our team to yours, best of luck as your season begins.