Top Crop Manager

From the Editor: Amaranth, kochia and…dandelions, oh my!

April 6, 2023  By Derek Clouthier

The focus of this latest issue of Top Crop Manager – West is weed control, and as someone who battles common weeds like dandelions in my yard every summer, I can only imagine what farmers must go through on a daily basis trying to manage this issue in their fields.

I can also imagine the issues and concerns when it comes to weeds and their potential to infiltrate neighbouring fields is similar to the one I have with my neighbour – on a much smaller and less consequential scale of course. My neighbour – who is amazing I’ll add and does not complain but rather pokes fun at my dandelion battles every spring and summer – has a serious green thumb and takes pride in looking after her yard and garden throughout the year. I’ve certainly tried to keep up to her at times, as our front yards are connected and blend into one, and if I didn’t make an effort, it would be pretty obvious and somewhat embarrassing.

I’ve made all the excuses in the book when it comes to why my yard pales in comparison to my neighbour’s: the slope going from my yard down to hers means she benefits with more water; the previous owners placed two massive rocks in the front yard for aesthetics, but neglected to dig out the grass where they put the rocks, so now I have to try and control the grass sprouting from underneath; and of course, the darn weeds just never go away, whether I dig them out, spray weed killer on them…it’s just so daunting!


So, this summer I’m going to have to bite the bullet and hire a professional to come in and try and get these resilient little buggers out of my lawn.

Anyway, I’m sorry to go off on a tangent about my petty dandelion problem when many of you are dealing with much worse when it comes to weed control, but it was the first and only thing that came to mind when I was thinking about weeds and what farmers have to do every year to ensure their livelihood is not damaged as a result.

Doing some of my own research online, reading the stories in this issue and from what I’ve heard speakers present about weeds, farmers in Western Canada frequently deal with such weeds as lambsquarter, amaranth, ragweed and kochia. Corn, soybeans, pulse crops, even livestock can be impacted by these weeds, some of them being noxious and dangerous if too much is ingested.

So, at the very least, I hope this issue provides you with some valuable information on how to mitigate some or all of the weeds you deal with in your fields this coming spring and summer. Because I know it’s not as simple as calling a professional to spray your lawn to get rid of dandelions.


Stories continue below