Harnessing the power of weeds
March 10, 2018
By Jannen Belbeck
Dealing with weeds? Of course you are. And thanks to the ever-evolving nature of weeds, what you dealt with in 2017 might not help you with what could happen in 2018. Of course lessons are learned, but as a producer, your goal should always be to learn more, stay informed and be diligent – otherwise your crop yields (and your bottom line) suffer.
That’s why Top Crop Manager strives to provide our readers with the latest research and commentary from industry experts in the field, and our annual weed management-focused edition is no different. The pages this issue are filled with articles on integrated weed management, weed management systems, plus coverage of weed surveys readers like you have completed.
We have a fun infographic on page 44 highlighting some of the responses from our first-ever herbicide use survey. The editorial team from Top Crop Manager worked hard to develop the survey, and sought to find out information related to the following topics: weed conditions and resistance; the important factors in weed management decisions; weeds targeted and herbicide groups applied; and the practices used to manage weeds. Nearly 500 of you across Canada completed the survey and helped give us a glimpse at what the state of herbicide resistance is like in the country today.
With regards to weed management specifically, one of my favourite stories this issue has to be our opening story on page 6. Ross McKenzie takes readers through a list of integrated weed management techniques, and includes everything from crop rotations, to seed sources, to tillage. But first, he stresses the important fact that even the chemical companies themselves have begun to push within the last couple of years: “Rotating herbicides based on modes of action is necessary to prevent or delay development of herbicide-resistant weeds. For each herbicide used, be sure to pay attention to the mode of action (herbicide group number).”
Although citing it as “unpopular opinion,” one of our Twitter followers mentioned that although herbicides are a dominant tool for weed control, does focusing on herbicide resistance make us “forget” about all the other traits that make weeds successful? And maybe the focus of weed control is changing – there may be more tools in the toolkit than we actually realize. For example, within the realm of breeding and genetics of crop varieties, are there ways we can harness the power of weeds?
Digging through this issue, I think readers will be surprised and inspired to find a number of strategies that can be implemented to manage weeds. We’re happy to continue providing growers and agronomists with this exciting news.
Lastly, I’d like to extend a warm “welcome back” to editor Stefanie Croley, as she returns from maternity leave to resume her role as editor with Top Crop Manager. Together, we hope you have a wonderful spring season.