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Farmers evaluating weed management options

Weed management throughout the growing season is a key concern for farmers.

Bayer Canada held a weed management webinar this week.

Kate Hadley, a Market Development Agronomist with Bayer says weed resistance is growing across the prairies with 60 per cent of herbicide-resistant wild oats now showing resistance to Group 1 herbicides.

"Almost 80 per cent of the samples tested in Manitoba came back as Group 1 resistant and about 60 per cent of the samples from Alberta, Saskatchewan came back as Group 1 resistant. Those are pretty high numbers. I know I'm a little bit concerned about that. It's trending more and more resistant every time they do these surveys. So definitely something we need to keep an eye on."

Bayer's Varro FX is a cross-spectrum herbicide with Group  2 and 4 active ingredients which provides better control of Group 1 resistant wild oats and broadleaf weeds like cleavers and kochia.

Herbicide-resistant wild oats are a growing concern across the prairies as resistance to Group 1 and 2 herbicides is growing.

This week's Weed Management webinar included a producer panel with two farmers from Saskatchewan and one from Alberta.

Brady Ferris farms 2000 acres near Radisson (Saskatchewan)  and says while they have Group 1 Wild Oat resistance they don't have a lot of Group 2 issues.

He says they use crop rotation, tank mixes and active groups to get better control.

" We mix as many different actives as possible. Something that I think I'm going to be looking into this year depending on how much moisture we get is maybe trying some winter annuals. Throwing in some winter annuals just to try and shift some different weed pressures. So if we get another dry year (we've been dry for the last three years) we might look into some winter annuals as well."

Bayer's Varro FX is a cross-spectrum herbicide with Group  2 and 4 active ingredients which provide better control of Group 1 resistant wild oats and broadleaf weeds like cleavers and kochia.

Ferris says they also struggle with kochia and with it being so dry they haven't had a lot of crop competition.

He ran a trial with Varro FX on his farm last year and is looking at doing it again this year.

"We did our plot last year as a small 40-acre test plot. I was fairly happy, to be honest, I was kind of pushing the limits a little bit. It was getting a little bit gusty when I was spraying it and it's still performed just as well as the velocity I was spraying before this year. I think I'm going to be adding in a couple tanks of it just to see how it does on a full field scale."

He notes he used Velocity last year so Varro FX doesn't fit in that well with his plans for this year, but if he's pleased with his field trial he'll look at expanding its use next year.

Quinn Cubbon farms at North Battleford and ran a trial with Varro FX  tank mixed with Infinity FX last year and was pleased with the response.

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