June 5, 2023 By Top Crop Manager
A six-year research project on weed science was recently completed and looked at several weed management options in pulse crops.
Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG) invested more than $2 million into the program, which was led by Dr. Christian Willenborg from 2016 to 2022, addressing multiple priorities that included guidelines for problematic weeds in pulse crops, herbicide options for soybeans and faba beans, improving growers’ ability to manage weeds, improving pulse crop competitive ability, developing improved integrated weed and crop management options and developing re-cropping guidelines for faba beans.
“I am thankful for the support of SPG in the weed science program over the past ten years. This has allowed us to deliver weed control options for growers that will improve weed management in the future. We have played a role in testing new herbicides, which have then been released by industry partners. We have also developed and refined non-herbicide control methods for pulse growers that will help reduce selection pressure for herbicide-resistant weeds and manage weeds that are already resistant to herbicides”, says Willenborg. “In totality, support from growers over the past decade has resulted in more weed control options for growers, which I believe has broadened the portfolio of weed management options for pulse growers and I am hopeful this will contribute to a greater top and bottom line for both growers and the Saskatchewan pulse industry.”
Research outcomes include:
- Chickpea: The benefits of extending weed control from pre-emergence through in-crop outweighed yield loss from crop damage. Herbicide layering of pre-emergent residuals and in-crop products is effective for combatting herbicide resistance.
- Soybean: Long-term weed resistance can be managed with a pre-emergent herbicide such as Heat®. Narrow row spacing is recommended for reduced selection pressure of in-crop herbicides.
- Faba Bean: The critical period of weed control for faba beans is the four to nine-node stage. Growers will likely see improvements in yield and weed control by adopting simple practices such as early seeding, reducing row spacing, and using a residual pre-emergent herbicide.
- Lentil: Weeds that escape pre-seed residual herbicides can be successfully controlled using inter-row herbicide application. In addition, a fall-applied pre-emergence herbicide application alone can be as effective as a layered pre- and post-emergence strategy.
- Pea: An effective weed control strategy includes increasing field pea seeding rates to a minimum of 120 seeds per square metre, using a pre-emergent herbicide with residual activity, and choosing a naturally competitive cultivar.
SPG’s investment into this research program aligns with its research and development strategy goals: to increase the profitability of established crops and continued the expansion of minor pulse crop acres. To help reach these goals, SPG invests in specific field research including integrated pest management with a focus on weeds and diseases to protect yields.
“Continued investment into pulse research is important for Saskatchewan pulse growers to have the tools they need to remain competitive,” says Sherrilyn Phelps, SPG’s director of research and development. “Adding new weed control options and enhancing integrated weed management strategies are examples of the tools necessary for not only the sustainability and profitability of pulses in rotation but also for ensuring pulses meet our high-quality standards for market acceptance.”