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There is hardly a farmer left in Niagara and Haldimand who cannot identify this troublesome weed after having first sighted this prolific weed specimen about 5 years ago in Wainfleet. We get complaints from nursery operators, fruit growers and other horticultural farmers who cannot control this weed because of the lack of good herbicides available to them to fight this spreading weed. You can find fleabane from the pool yard in your backyard to any parking lot in the Niagara area. There was a recent complaint that it had infiltrated a ballfield in Brantford as well. Left uncontrolled the spread of Canada fleabane will be incredible. Vacant farm properties and abandoned residential building lots will continue to provide an annual supply of fresh seed to neighbouring farm fields.
The new Xtend herbicide technology used in the county this year worked amazingly well for its first year. Growers were very pleased with the season long control of fleabane and other broadleaf weeds the Xtend herbicides were meant to control. During the winter months, sit down with your local agronomist and discuss your weed control options with them before spring arrives and seed orders have to be submitted. Let us not abuse this Xtend technology like we did with Atrazine in the 70’s, Pursuit in the 80’s and Roundup in the 90’s- so we can utilize this herbicide package for years to come! Rotating with other crops and alternative herbicide chemistries will go a long way to keep this technology useful for years to come. It is your choice!
This Crop Corner has been written by Jerry Winnicki, Agronomy Manager at Clark Agri Service. Jerry can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 905-736-1426