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Come Walk the Crops with Us – Strategic Field Program

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

The #SKcrop walk for the week of June 26 introduced the Strategic Field Program, a Canadian Agricultural Partnership program introduced this year. The program provides funding for projects that are directly relevant to the producer, as well as relevant information in a timely manner. It is generally intended for more rigorous field demonstrations or evaluations, and research plots that will promote the Ministry of Agriculture's objectives. This year, 12 projects were approved, seven of which pertain to crops, three to livestock and two to forage. These projects are conducted across the province in diverse categories ranging from bison to pickling cucumbers.

The second project looks at alternative strategies to control and manage kochia. This is especially important with herbicide-resistant kochia being present in Saskatchewan. One management strategy that has been proposed is herbicide layering. This begins in the fall with a post-harvest application, followed by a pre-seeding application and an in-crop application. The control for this project will be a plot without any post-harvest application. This is a three-year project that will incorporate a crop rotation of oilseed, cereal then pulse. In the first year, Roundup-ready canola or Liberty Link canola will be assessed, because kochia populations have demonstrated glyphosate resistance. A winter cereal will be introduced the second year to compete with kochia. Peas or lentils will be planted the third year. Weeds will be counted after the third year. This project will be conducted at two Agri-ARM sites.

Another weed management practice being studied is comparison of weed clipping and weed wiping in a lentil crop. Weed clipping takes place when the plants grow larger. Tops of weeds are snipped off in order to stop seeds from being added to the weed seed bank. Weed wiping is when a string or a wick is drawn across the top of weeds and glyphosate is administered. In one month there will be another video to show the results of this work.

To watch the Crop Walks, visit the ministry's Facebook page.

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