Plot by plot
By Todd Cowan
Thousands of plots are planted and harvested each year.
One of Ontario's most intensively managed pieces of farmland is the 20 acres
planted each year for herbicide research in edible beans, soybeans, winter wheat,
corn and sweet corn at the Huron Research Station in South Huron. Here, weed
science technician, Todd Cowan tests current and future herbicides, tank-mixes
and application rates in replicated plots each year.
The data yielded from this effort plays a part in the submissions made to the
Pest Management Regulatory Agency which approves registrations for the use of
new products. Cowan's work plays an even larger role in the registration process
for minor use registrations. “Todd plans, supervises, monitors and records
data from 3000 plots each year and he has to nail it perfectly,” says Peter
Sikkema, field crop weed management professor at Ridgetown College, University
of Guelph, who oversees the work done at Huron Station.
Plenty of farmers and industry people see the plots each summer as grower groups
and Ontario Weed Committee members tour the facility. Cowan stresses that the
plots are available to anyone who has an interest and he welcomes inquiries
from groups or individuals who wish to arrange visits: contact Todd Cowan at
(519) 235-4075, email: firstname.lastname@example.org