Camelina, a relative of mustard and canola, yields an oil with a profile similar to that of flax. | Carlene Sarvas photo

Herbicide-tolerant camelina now available

Smart Earth Camelina hopes their new herbicide-resistant camelina variety, coupled with an attractive contract, can peel off some farm acres from canola. “We were up at 10,000 (acres) the year prior, then we dropped down to about 3,500 this year, because the commodities were all up,” said Carlene Sarvas, a crop specialist with Smart Earth […] Read more

Herbicide resistance is particularly bad in kochia, and it’s hoped a new test will provide farmers with more management options.  |  File photo

Rapid test available for resistant weeds

Glyphosate-resistant kochia is spreading across southern Manitoba. So this spring more kochia weeds will survive the first herbicide treatment and more growers will want to know: did the sprayer miss this patch of weeds, or are they resistant to glyphosate? A rapid test is now available to answer that question. “I just spent money to […] Read more

Wild oat control in cereals is especially critical because it can significantly diminish yields.
 | File photo

Wild oat resistance persists

Wild and free: that’s beginning to describe wild oats rather well. The “wild” is a given, right in the name, and the “free” is embodied in the weeds’ freedom from in-crop herbicide harm. “We have wild oat seed lots that can have blanket resistance to both Group 1s and Group 2s, meaning they’re resistant to […] Read more

Prairie fields rife with resistant weeds

The number of weeds that have developed resistance to one or more herbicides is jumping in Western Canada. Fifty-seven percent of Canada’s largest cropping province now has fields infested with herbicide tolerant weeds. Random weed surveys conducted by researchers on 400 fields have found that more than 19 million acres in Saskatchewan likely carry one […] Read more

Wild oats resistance could become next quandary for prairie farmers

Western Canadian farmers will have a tough time battling the next glyphosate resistant weed, says an expert. Wild oats is the most likely candidate to follow resistant kochia, according to a risk assessment model developed by Hugh Beckie, a weed scientist with Agriculture Canada. The same model successfully forecast kochia as Western Canada’s first glyphosate […] Read more

Stephen Powles, an Australian weed scientist and farmer, predicts that glyphosate will become a redundant herbicide in many parts of North America.  |  Robert Arnason photo

Glyphosate: too much of a good thing spells doom

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Stephen Powles is not optimistic about the future of glyphosate in North America. Powles, a farmer and weed scientist at the University of Western Australia, says the herbicide might have a shorter life span than farmers imagine. “I’m going to make here a very bold prediction: glyphosate will be driven to redundancy, […] Read more

Short canola rotations are providing short-term profits but could lead to long-term disease issues.  |  File photo

Trouble looms with shorter canola rotation, warns expert

An Agriculture Canada researcher issued a cautionary message last week to an audience of canola industry members. Neil Harker said the two-year canola rotation that dominates the Prairies comes with inherent risks that threaten future production of the crop: increased levels of disease and pests and the breakdown of variety resistance. “I think we’re at […] Read more

Caleigh Irwin of Vive Crop Protection in Guelph, Ont., was one of hundreds of experts who attended the Weed Science Society of America annual meeting in Baltimore Feb. 4-7. She was taking a look at the poster presentations organized for the conference.  |  Robert Arnason photo

Tackling weed resistance contentious

Compensating farmers who overused glyphosate is ‘rewarding bad management,’ says scientist

BALTIMORE, Md. — Carol Mallory-Smith, a weed scientist from Oregon State University, couldn’t help herself. Two experts on a panel discussing herbicide resistance during the Weed Science Society of America’s annual meeting in Baltimore Feb. 4-7 had just suggested the U.S. government offer financial incentives to growers who adopt alternative practices as part of an […] Read more