Quebec farmer finds velvetleaf solution for his fields
January 15, 2013 - Velvetleaf. Even hearing the word can give the most resolute farmer a headache. Knowing it is in your field, means knowing the challenge of trying to get rid of it — and the staggering yield reductions that can result if you don't.
The highly invasive weed has a distinctive cluster of seed pods that can produce up to 17,000 seeds per plant. These seeds can remain viable in soil for over 50 years. And when it grows, velvetleaf is highly competitive, significantly robbing corn and soybean yields.
Raymond Durivage, co-owner of Ferme EDPA in St-Édouard, has found a solution that works for his family's farm operation. And it is one he recommends to other growers who want to rid their fields of velvetleaf early in the season.
"For the past several years we have used Integrity," says Durivage, who runs a 1,000-acre cash crop farm with his father and brother where they rotate corn, soybeans and wheat as well as raise pigs and beef cows. "It's the only herbicide currently on the market that we find is the most efficient and has the most residual effect in our fields that allow us to not have any velvetleaf problems throughout the season."
First introduced into North America as a fibre crop in the mid-1700s, it was believed that the Canadian climate would be too harsh for velvetleaf to localize in Eastern Canada. However, by the 1980s, it had started to become a problem in Quebec. Today, velvetleaf is one of the major troublesome weeds for corn and soybean farmers in Quebec, Eastern Canada and throughout most of the United States.
"Integrity uses next-generation technology to take down velvetleaf," says Jean-François Foley, a Business Representative for BASF Canada. "It's a unique chemistry that uses two modes of action to control the tough weeds and resistant biotypes that older chemistries can't handle."
In addition to velvetleaf and many other tough weeds such as Eastern black night shade, Integrity controls glyphosate-resistant, triazine-resistant and group two-resistant biotypes. Applied early pre-plant, pre-plant incorporated or pre-emergence, its convenient low use rates provide excellent residual weed control and great follow crop flexibility.
At Durivage's farm, they apply Integrity early in the season to control velvetleaf and other problem weeds that appear in the fields where they spread liquid manure. It's where they face the most velvetleaf pressure because the weed's seeds can be carried in the manure.
"I would suggest all growers who would like to have a clean field early in the season to use Integrity so they can have a rebalanced field in 12 to15 weeks," says Durivage.