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Due to unseasonably cool and wet conditions, the 2017 planting season is off to a late start. Although everyone is eager to be out in the fields as the ground finally begins to dry, the tail-end effects of last summer’s lack of rain are further disrupting 2017’s spring planting season.
The majority of southeastern Ontario experienced many crop insurance claims over failed crops in 2016. Many of those crops were left unsprayed throughout the growing season. Unfortunately, the perennial and winter annual weeds (such as Canada fleabane, dandelions, and blue grass) went into seed and, due to the unusual spike in temperatures that we experienced in February, are off to a quick start.
While driving across the countryside, it is amazing to see the difference between fields that were sprayed in the fall compared to those that have yet to be sprayed this spring. Fields that were not sprayed off are riddled with a standing cover crop of weeds while those that were sprayed are weed-free and ready for seed.
Fortunately for those who sprayed at the end of the growing season in 2016, it is a lot easier to kill big, lingering perennials at the end of the year rather than the beginning. Since the 2017 growing season is so late, the weeds left in fields require a lot more chemical than they would have needed at the end 2016. Not only is it more cost effective to take care of weeds in the fall, it is also a simple method of lightening your work load in the spring.
For those farmers that do have perennials (such as blue grass) interspersed throughout their rotations, take note: if the weed is present now, it will still be there in the fall after the crop has been harvested. Before your field is planted with winter wheat, spraying will save you both time and money in the long run.
Now that fields are planted, we need to stay on top of the weed pressure throughout the growing season. If you have any questions on which chemical to use on particular weeds, talk to your Clark Agronomist and we can work together to create a solution. Whether it is looking for weeds, disease or insects let us know here at Clark Agri Service and we would be happy to help.
This Crop Corner has been written by Jake Elgersma, Sales Agronomist at Clark Agri Service. Jake can be reached by email email@example.com or by phone 289-659-5747