If winter wheat is part of your rotation, now’s the time to scout your fields for fall-germinated winter annual weeds. The proper diligence today could reap bigger dividends come harvest.
Paul Thoroughgood, Regional Agrologist with Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) says winter wheat produces 10 to 30% higher yields than spring seeded varieties but proper management is key. “Getting out into the field today and surveying the crop is essential to help your winter wheat achieve its highest yield”, says Thoroughgood. “Otherwise weeds such as narrow-leaved hawks beard, stinkweed, flixweed and shepherd’s-purse will compete with the crop for resources and reduce yield.”
Weed control considerations for winter wheat are similar to other cereal crops. However, producers should be mindful of herbicide selection and timing.
DUC has been supporting winter wheat production since the early 1990s as the crop provides safe, attractive nesting habitat for waterfowl. In January, DUC and Bayer CropScience launched Winter Cereals: Sustainability in Action, a program which showcases the important role winter wheat plays in sustainable agriculture. The program combines investment in research, working with producers and engaging additional partners to increase winter wheat acreage across the Prairies, and highlights an agricultural practice that is profitable and wildlife-friendly.