You said it: The hard-to-control weeds you love to hate


With the crops starting to emerge, so are the weeds. Recently, the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) published a survey that ranks the most common and troublesome weeds in 2020.

The survey sparked this week’s question on RealAg Radio’s Farmer Rapid Fire: what weed is the most troublesome for you? Which one really makes you cringe as soon as you see it rear its not-so-pretty head?

Michael Groot of Crediton, Ont., says it varies year to year for him  depending how fast he can tackle the weeds.

“I’ve been having a heck of a time with burdock lately. Last year it was sow thistle that was a bit of an issue, but burdock really seems to be there this year,” Groot says.

Dwayne Leslie of Poplar Point, Man., says the troublesome weed on his farm goes back to the fact that they grew sunflowers for decades.

“I think I’d have to say pigweed,” he says. “It was such a tough one to control for the long growing season, so every time there’s one plant, there’s another million in seeds that gets replanted. It’s something that I’m sure we’re going to have to deal with for a few generations.”

Jim Wickett of Rosetown, Sask., says his most troublesome weed appears because they grow so many pulses — lentils specifically.

“We’re in a yellow mustard area where it’s just crazy. The countryside is yellow if you leave it. And we’re resistant to all the Group 2 chemicals from that. My money crop is lentils, so that’s my biggest weed battle I have, is resistant mustard.”

Ryan Kasko of Coaldale, Alta., says they get a lot of the barnyard weeds.

“Round-leaved mallow or something like that is what we are dealing with from our manure. We’re trying to do a little better of a job at composting, and that will get rid of a lot of the weed seeds we are dealing with,” says Kasko.

Michelle Jones of Billings, MT., says it’s the grassy weeds that are hardest to control in her operation.

“Rattail fescue. It’s grass that is very, very difficult to control. There’s about one chemistry that will control it, and that’s if you have the perfect conditions in the fall to get it activated. So that is probably my personal biggest issue. However, for the whole farm, I’d say cheatgrass is the worst,” says Jones.

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