Category Archives: Other Topics

Tips for Broadleaf Weed Control in Pumpkins and Winter Squash

Originally published in ONvegetables in The Grower, April 2017

Even with the use of herbicides, broadleaf weed control in pumpkins and squash can be problematic. Product selection is key but timing and weather conditions are also important to the success or failure of a weed control program. Each of the broadleaf herbicides comes with its own strengths, weaknesses and risks.

As a general rule, the spectrum of weeds controlled can be increased by using tank-mixes. But, for pumpkins and squash, it is wise to limit the tank-mix to two products.  A three-way tank mix is risky from a crop safety standpoint; root damage, stunting, yellowing and/or burning may occur, especially under certain soil conditions.

All of the pre-emergence herbicides require soil moisture. The active ingredient is carried by the soil water into the germinating weed seedlings, causing them to die.  Under dry soil conditions, it is tempting to use overhead irrigation to “activate” the herbicides.  This is an inexact science.  Too much water can quickly move the herbicide band into the zone of the germinating crop roots, causing injury to the pumpkins or squash. Too little water may be insufficient to move the herbicide into the germinating weeds.

It becomes a gamble between loosing crop to herbicide damage or loosing yield to weed competition. Fortunately, both Dual II Magnum and Sandea can be used for early post emergence weed control.  Unfortunately, control of weeds such as lamb’s-quarters and pigweed is less effective with a post emergence spray.

Product: Command 360 ME (clomazone)
Timing:  after seeding but before crop and weed emergence.
Rate: 0.78-1.17 L/ha (0.31-0.47 L/acre) use the low rate on light, sandy loam soils; use the high rate on heavy soils.
Strengths: lamb’s-quarters, nightshades, ragweed, velvetleaf
Weaknesses: pigweeds.
Cautions: very sandy soils and/or certain varieties may be prone to crop injury, see label for details. Also refer to the label for rotational crop restrictions.

Product: Sandea (halosulfuron)
Timing(s): after planting and before soil cracking (direct seeded), before transplanting; do not transplant sooner than 7-days after application, OR post-emergence between the 3-5 true leaf stage or 14-days after transplanting[1]
Rate: 35-70 g/ha (14-28 g/acre). See the product label for specific rate information for direct seeded, transplanted, processing and fresh market pumpkins and squash.
Strengths: pigweeds, lady’s thumb, mustards
Weaknesses: lamb’s-quarters
Cautions: Under adverse growing conditions (dry or excessive moisture, cool weather, etc.) the maturity of the treated crop may be delayed which can influence harvest date, yield, and quality. Under dry soil conditions, apply 3 – 5 cm of sprinkler irrigation to settle the soil after planting and prior to application. Do not make a post emergence application if female blossoms are present on the plant; crop damage may occur to developing fruit.

[1] If using pre-emergence and post emergence applications of Sandea, allow for a minimum of 21 days between the two applications.

Product: Dual II Magnum (s-metolachlor/benxacor)
Timing:
pre-emergence or at the 1-2 leaf stage (direct seeded crops). Prior to transplanting or within 48 hours after transplanting (transplanted crops).
Rate: 1.15 L/ha (0.47 L/acre)
Strengths: annual grasses, nightshades, pigweeds
Weaknesses: lady’s-thumb, ragweed, velvetleaf
Cautions: risk of crop injury increases with cool and wet conditions. Foliar contact can increase the potential of crop injury. Note: research in Ontario has shown high levels of phytotoxicity when using Dual II Magnum on cucumber crops.  Use on cucumber crops is not recommended.

Samples requested for clubroot survey

By Travis Cranmer, Vegetable Crops Specialist
OMAFRA

First appeared in ONvegetables in The Grower, April 2017.

Clubroot, caused by the soil-borne pathogen Plasmodiophora brassicae can cause yellowing, stunting, wilting and club-like roots on susceptible Brassica species including broccoli, cabbage, canola and cauliflower. Clubroot causes an estimated yield loss of 10-15% in Brassica crops worldwide and in severely infested fields a 30-100% yield loss can occur. There are different races of clubroot known as pathotypes and the resistance of many cultivars is pathotype dependent.

severe clubbing, six weeks after seeding
Figure 1. Pak choy with severe clubbing, six weeks after seeding.

Continue reading Samples requested for clubroot survey

Now accepting applications for the 2017 Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program!

Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation ExcellenceThe agri-food sector has always been innovative in running businesses, adapting practices and collaborating to compete in the world economy. To help spur and to celebrate this innovative spirit, the Government of Ontario created the Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program.

Have you developed and implemented a unique product or process that helps foster innovation in Ontario’s agriculture and food sector? Apply and you could be eligible to receive one of these awards: Continue reading Now accepting applications for the 2017 Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program!

Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention presentations now available online

Ontario Fruit & Vegetable ConventionPresentation slides from the 2017 Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention (OFVC) are now posted online. Field vegetable content at this year’s OFVC included: Continue reading Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention presentations now available online

Food safety workshops – last chance before the season hits

Are you interested in improving your on-farm food safety or formalizing your food safety program? The OSCIA offers free, introductory food safety workshops and webinars to get you started. These workshops are open to all sizes of operations — right down to the smallest farm stand.

While the workshops and webinars are open to all farm commodities, they are aimed at addressing food safety hazards from the horticultural perspective, and — as an introductory level — are most appropriate for those who do not yet have a certified food safety program in place. Continue reading Food safety workshops – last chance before the season hits

Support to Help Farmers Reduce their Carbon Emissions

ONfruit

The Growing Forward 2 (GF2) Cost-Share funding Assistance Program for Producers has been enhanced with four new best management practices (BMPs) categories added and enhancements to several existing BMPs.  GF2 funding is available to support farmers to make changes in their farming operations and encourages actions with multi-benefits for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving water quality and supporting soil health.  These enhancements will support producers to transition to low carbon production and encourage energy efficiency and energy conservation on-farms.

Highlights of the new BMPs and changes in existing GF2 BMPs are below. This funding is delivered by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA).  Please see the OSCIA’s website www.ontariosoilcrop.org/oscia-programs/growing-forward-2/ for the program guide, application forms, and full details on how producers can participate.

Highlights – What’s New in GF2?

Four new BMP categories have been added:

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions…

  • A13 … from indoor agriculture facilities such…

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Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) webinars for producers

Join the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’ new webinars to learn what GFSI food safety schemes work best for your business. Learn first-hand from GFSI representatives and scheme owners about the key aspects of featured schemes.

Registration is FREE
SPACE IS LIMITED Continue reading Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) webinars for producers