Hello ReaderSeeding has come to end and we’re off to a great start. The cooler overnight temperatures are forcing us to shut spraying down early, around 6:00pm, and wait for the morning to warm before starting again. There was a frost event last week that set some canola back, especially the fields sprayed with glyphosate or Liberty the day before the frost.
This week’s newsletter focuses on weeds and herbicides. We’ll also look at the top ten technologies that will drive farm productivity and efficiency and a few really cool smart phone apps for ag.
Have a great week.
Pictured above: Our canola inter-row seeded May 15 into 16-inch tall wheat stubble near Morrin, AB. Both rows are in the tramline; the left row is double seeded.
Crop Staging(Calgary to Drumheller to Three Hills)
Seeded May 1-7 May 8-15 May 16-22
Wheat 5-leaf, 1 tiller 4-leaf, 1 tiller 3-leaf
Canola 5-leaf 4-leaf 3-leaf
Barley 5-leaf, 1 tiller 4-leaf, 1 tiller 3-leaf
Peas 7th node 5th node 4th node
Steve's tips and tricks of the week
Follow me on Twitter for in-season updates @BeyondAgronomy
- Watch for cold overnight temperatures below 6C. Spraying a herbicide in the evening before a cold night can create serious stress on the plants.
- Continue watching for cutworm damage as seed treatments have worn off and cutworms start to become active.
- Watch the daytime temperatures. Products like fluroxypyr don’t perform well below 8C. SU’s don’t perform well below 5C. Optimum temperatures must be above 10C with contact herbicides above 15C.
- Do not apply glyphosate to canola above the 6-leaf stage (which early seeded canola is approaching).
Top 8 weeds and tips on herbicide control optionsThere is a lot to think about when selecting your next broadleaf herbicide. There are numerous combinations of broadleaf herbicides and it’s easy to forget which actives and provide the greatest level of control. I’ve included a list of our top 8 weeds and the best products to control them.
One of the first things that come to mind when making the best choice is the herbicide group or mode of action. In other words, how does each active ingredient effectively remove your targeted weed. The list below contains actives and product names to help you identify which ones perform best. From there you can look up the products in detail <here>
This weed had been in the top three weeds in western Canada for the past 25 years. There are lots of choices out there, but typically this one is not your driver weed species. It’s quite easy to manage when they are small, but more difficult once they get past the 4-6 leaf stage. Here are few options:
- Group 2 - The SU’s are typically very good, especially for the larger ones – namely Refine SG. Thiefensulfuron & tribenuron blends and many Precision Pak blends are also available – PP2525, PP23235, etc
- Group 2 & 4 - Florasulam blends are excellent, plus you can benefit from a bit of residual control. This would include Frontline XL and Stellar XL
- Group 2,4,4 - anything with clopyralid such as Spectrum, Prestige, or Curtail M.
- Group 4 - Phenoxy & fluroxypyr blends are decent such as Prestige, Attain, Octtain, Trophy, Pulsar, Curtail M, Target, Dyvel, or Dicamba.
- Group 6 blends - (bromoxynil) Infinity, Buctril M, Pardner, Thumper.
- Group 7 - (ureas) Lorox with MCPA amine or Target
Now this one is getting a bit tougher to manage, especially for those farms with Group 2 resistance. For the past number of years SU’s and florasulam blends were our best bet, until it became everyone’s staple for pre-seed and in crop.
- Typically when you say cleavers, we say fluroxypyr at a minimum of 29 g a.e. or greater.
- Products that include fluroxypyr: Stellar XL, Prestige XC, Octtain XL, Trophy, Pulsar, Retain, Altitude (CL Wheat only)
- Florasulam blends at a minimum of 1 g a.e – Spectrum, Frontline XL, Stellar XL
- Blends with quinclorac are excellent – Triton C or Precision Pak.
- Infinity (pyrosulfotole) with AMS, is very good when less than 6 whorls and excellent coverage.
- SU’s such as Ally, Refine SG, or Precision Pak blends (PP2525, 23235, etc.)
- Acceptable activity when the are less than 3 whorls: Products with Mecoprop: Target, DyVel DSp
This story is going to sound very similar to the cleavers, except we have to assume that 90% of the kochia population is Group 2 resistant.
- You say kochia, we say fluroxypyr at a minimum of 43 g a.e. or greater. These rates can be tamed back a bit once we add a Group 4 or 6 into the blend.
- Best performance products: Prestige XC, Octtain XL, Trophy, Pulsar, Retain
- Honorable mention for bromoxynil blends: Infinity, Buctril M, Thumper, Pardner,
- As well dicamba blends: Banvel, Dyvel, Target.
- Higher rates of 2,4-D or MCPA’s are also quite good as a stand alone, just watch for crop staging.
It’s definitely tougher to get once it gets past 3-4 paired leaves. The overall winner in this category are the SU’s.
- Once again the SU's are on top: (tribenuron-methyl, metsulfuron-methyl) Refine SG blends, Ally, Precision Pak blends.
- The next best performance comes from florasulam products: Frontline XL, Spectrum, Stellar XL
- There are a number of products with acceptable performance when they are smaller such as: Infinity (pyrosulfotole), Octtain XL, Prestige XC, Trophy (fluroxypyr) blends,
- Dicamba blends provide control when hempnettle is small: Target, Pulsar, Dyvel;
- Others: Sencor (metribuzin) and Lorox (linuron) with MCPA
We are coming to the same problem we have with cleavers and that’s with Group 2 resistance. Many years of relying on SU’s and florasulam blends, now we have a challenge on our hands.
- For non-resistant fields: Ally (metsulfuron), Refine SG (tribenuron+thifensulfuron), Triton C (Refine SG + quinclorac) and PP blends.
- Florasulam is excellent also, if it hasn’t been over used to this point: Products: Frontline XL, Spectrum, Stellar XL
- Once again Sencor and Lorox have excellent residual control.
- Then it comes down to suppression and acceptance: Target, Infinity, fluroxypyr blends at higher rates (Prestige XC, Octtain XL)
There are some excellent choices and some acceptable choices here.
- Clopyralid blends have excellent and decent residual control: Prestige XC, Curtail M, Spectrum.
- Triton C is also excellent with the quinclorac.
- Florasulam with a Group 4: MCPA or 2,4-D – Frontline XL, Stellar XL
- Dicamba blends – Banvel, Target, Dyvel, PP blends
- SU’s with a Phenoxy are decent
- Phenoxies at higher rates – 2,4-D’s and MCPA – Attain, Octtain, Retain.
We’ll play this tune one more time.
- Excellent performance from florasulam blends (2 g a.e.) and fluroxypyr blends (43 g a.e)
- Frontline XL, Spectrum, Stellar XL
- Prestige XC, Octtain XL, Trophy, Pulsar(sup), Retain(sup),
- Best performance from Ally, Refine SG and PP blends with the addition of MCPA or 2,4-D. Triton C fits into this group with the addition of quinclorac.
- Lorox with MCPA works quite well.
We’ll go through this from the best to less than best.
- Leading the top positions will be the SU’s (mainly metsulfuron & tribenuron blends)
- Refine SG / PP 2525, PP23235 (tribeuron-mthyl+thifensulfuron)
- Express SG (tribenuron-methyl)
- Retain (tribenuron methyl, thifensulfuron, fluroxypyr, 2,4-D ester)
- Spectrum (florasulam, clopyralid, MCPA Ester)
- Embutox (2,4-D B)
Integrated weed management strategy with CTF
Managing grassy weedsI came across a very interesting observation on a field of ours that is being taken out for swath grazing cattle. It seems the weed pressure only exists where we turn our equipment around on the headlands.
The photo above shows the inside of a field that has been in CTF for 4 full years. Notice there is little to no weed growth, though it’s June 11th and hasn’t been sprayed. A quick look to the south along the headland and you can find thick patches of volunteer wheat and wild oats. The only difference between the two areas is wheel traffic.
Weeds grow best in soils that are compacted, have poor structure, lack oxygen and are full of nitrates. The headlands now resemble our old random traffic systems. Weeds used to grow across the entire field. Now, anything significant falls under a wheel track and mainly on the headlands.
So, if you’re really struggling with prolific weed growth, the soil is telling you it has poor structure. The only way to repair the soil is to stop driving over it and implement a CTF system. For us, the weed pressure continues to drop each year with wild oats showing up mainly on the headlands. If we could limit our grassy weed pressure to just our headlands, we’d save roughly 40% on our total herbicide costs each year. You have to see it to believe it. Here’s to saving $15.00 per acre each year! SL
Photo credit: S. Larocque
Top ten technologies that will drive farm progressThe link below is an excellent summary of the top ten technologies that will drive farm productivity and efficiency now and into the future. It wasn’t that long ago we thought we were pretty slick running around with GPS guided light bars. What will the next 10 years look like? Have a read here. I think the author is on track. SL
Photo: Agribot. Source: farmindustrynews.com
Steve’s app picksI’ve come across some really handy apps that cover off yield estimation, spray quality, tank mix calculations and nutrient demand for wheat and canola at specific growth stages.
The Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association has developed a number of free apps that include spray quality, tank mix and fertilizer calculations.
This next app designed by ATP Nutrition features the nutrients that are in most demand at certain growth stages. This will help you fine tune foliar nutrient programs based on crop and growth stage. It is also free.
The charts I use take a short and long term look at whether the market is oversold, neutral or overbought. I use charts as a way to pull the trigger, not to determine the best price.
Canola Nov 14: The long and short term trends are down.
HRS Wheat: Dec 14: The short and long term trends are down.
Corn Dec 13: The short and long term trends are down.
Soybeans: Nov 14: The short and the long term trends are down.
Canadian $: Jun 14: The short term trend is up and the long term trend is down.