As any farmer from the Western Dakotas to Wyoming and Montana can testify, the 2017 drought took a toll on the spring wheat crop. And now thanks to the drought, it’s created conditions for increased Canada thistle competition this growing season.
“With every different type of growing condition brings different types of issues the following year,” said Jon Verhelst, U.S. Product Manager- Cereals Herbicide, Corteva. “Often times folks don’t think about what weeds could be persisting in a dry environment, like we had in the Western Dakotas and up into the Wyoming, Montana market. One weed we know is high anxiety for folks is Canada Thistle which can survive in those drought-type environments that we had in that area last year.”
A perennial weed with deep roots, Canada thistle can transition into dormancy to remain viable during extremely dry conditions. A lack of significant rainfall during last year’s growing season, July’s unrelenting high temperatures, and reduced soil moisture shaped the perfect environment for the troublesome weed to expand in sparse wheat stands last fall into the upcoming spring.
To obtain effective control, Verhelst said first off, farmers need to know what is out in those fields and then determine what tools are going to be needed this year. He suggests growers consider a tool such as PerfectMatch herbicide if Canada thistle is the main weed of concern.
PerfectMatch herbicide is a broad-spectrum herbicide that effectively controls annual grasses, such as wild oats and foxtails, along with annual broadleaves, such as kochia and wild buckwheat, as well as perennial Canada thistle. Herbicide efficacy studies conducted across Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota showed 40 percent greater control of Canada thistle and more consistent weed control with PerfectMatch herbicide compared with Huskie Complete herbicide.
“With Canada Thistle it can be a tricky weed to control,” Verhelst said. “So when you look at that weed in comparison to others in the way in which it produces via tubers, via seed production, etc. you really need complete kill of that weed with an active ingredient that’s got control, not only from a contact standpoint, but growers need that complete kill down to the root system and that’s what PerfectMatch provides.”