New funding for U of S weed research program
By Top Crop Manager
Mar. 31, 2016 - Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG) is pleased to announce over $2 million in funding over five years for the continuation of the Weed Research Program "Enhancing Weed Science in Pulse Crops: Towards a robust strategy for long-term weed management" led by University of Saskatchewan (U of S) researcher Dr. Chris Willenborg.
Weed management is critical for successful production of pulses as most pulse crops are not very competitive. "Working with researchers to develop integrated weed and crop management options for pulses is a key priority for SPG," says board chair Tim Wiens. "Herbicide resistance is becoming a more significant issue for pulse growers, and we believe that through support of the Weed Program at the U of S, we will be successful in developing effective management options for growers."
SPG's new over $2 million funding commitment is building on the organization's previous five-year investment to the Weed Research Program. Program results from the first five-year term included assisting in reducing the sulfentrazone (Authority) re-cropping interval for canola to 12 months after application and lentils to 24 months, improving the tolerance of field peas to Odyssey and assisting with the development of IMI-tolerant chickpeas. The program has also seen some success in managing cleavers in high organic matter soils by 'herbicide layering', which is combining pre-seed short-term soil residual herbicides with post-emergence in-crop treatments.
Over the next five years the Weed Research Program aims to establish new Minor Use herbicide registrations for pulses, improve knowledge of competitive traits in pulses for incorporation into future varieties, provide new integrated weed management options for growers, and to understand the impact of soil residual herbicides on re-cropping restrictions for newly emerging pulse crops such as faba beans. Additionally, the program has designated funds to investigate the potential of novel technologies such as robotics.
"The number of herbicide options for controlling weeds in pulses is limited and is focused on a few modes-of-action," states Eric Johnson, a research assistant working with Dr. Willenborg's weed program. "The risk of contributing to herbicide resistance is high in pulse crops. The work done in the Weed Program not only provides more herbicide options to growers, but also strives to develop integrated strategies that will enable growers to manage weeds economically and effectively, and also reduce the risk of evolved resistance."
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