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Come walk the crops with us - Effect of seeding rate and row spacing on weeds in durum

By Isabelle Piche, Crop Summer Student, Moose Jaw Ag Knowledge Centre

What alternative weed management practices are there?

This week's #SKcropwalk discussed a project taking place in five locations around Saskatchewan: Redvers, Prince Albert, Indian Head, Outlook and Swift Current. This trial is looking at the effects of seeding rate and row spacing on weed management in durum and spring wheat, as well as crop yield and quality parameters. Only the Swift Current site used durum, while the others used spring wheat.

Tame oats and yellow mustard were used as model weeds to simulate plant competition from wild oats and wild mustard without introducing weeds to the site. The trial was seeded with two different row spacings: wide (16-inches) and narrow (eight-inches). Four different seeding rates were also examined: 75 per cent, 100 per cent, 150 per cent and 200 per cent of 270 plants per m2. After durum was seeded, model weeds were cross-seeded at a rate of 20 lb. per m2.

To assess the trial, weed biomass, a visual weed assessment, wheat tiller number, head length and density, yield, dockage, and thousand kernel weight will be compared among treatments. A formula of "100 minus per cent dockage" will be used to estimate the competitiveness of the crop through weed seed production. To check out the Crop Walk, visit the ministry's Facebook page.

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