Proactive Weed and Pest Management Practices - Parrish and Heimbecker, Limited

Proactive Weed and Pest Management Practices

May 31, 2024 | Eastern Canada, Uncategorized, Western Canada

Going into the crop year is stressful, and problem weeds or insects only add to that stress. Deciding where to start can be overwhelming, but there are a few key areas you can focus on to build a proactive strategy to manage problem weeds and insects.

Scout Often and Early

Get into your fields early and document what you see. Crop scouting early and regularly will help prioritize your spring field work schedule while building your management and fertility plans for 2024. In wet areas or time-crunches, drones can be a great scouting tool to see the field interiors and avoid making tracks in soft or wet soil.

Coming out of a warmer winter with low moisture across the prairies, producers can expect increased grasshopper and wheat stem sawfly populations. Both of these pests favour warm, dry conditions and are forecasted to be an increased threat in 2024.

Pre-Emergence and In-Crop Products

Using the correct pre-emergence product to control your problem insects and weeds is an excellent strategy to help with overall resistance on the farm. Because pre-emergent products are applied before or very close to seeding dates, the targeted weeds and pests are addressed before the crop gets to its most vulnerable growing stages.

Early and frequent scouting combined with using pre-emergence and in-crop products are reliable ways to ensure your crops are thriving during the critical weed free period. Early pressure from weeds can rob your crop of valuable water, nutrients and sunlight, lowering your overall quality and yield. Keeping weed competition down during the vulnerable early growing stages is key to a successful harvest.

Proactive Kochia Management

It’s no secret that kochia is becoming a bigger issue each year. Kochia management needs to be proactive, not reactive. The best way to control and reduce kochia populations involve a combination of cultural, mechanical, biological and chemical control methods. The goal with kochia should be to prevent plants from getting to seed and reduce the number of seeds entering the seedbank.

Control methods can include crop rotations, early scouting, early spraying, managing saline areas, and even hand pulling of kochia plants before their seeds become viable around August. It’s important to evaluate your crop protection product strategy every year to ensure you’re selecting an up-to-date control method.

Contact your local P&H agronomist for more information on crop management practices and available products to compliment your pest management strategy.