Research

In-Crop Weed Clipping for Weed Control

In-Crop Weed Clipping for Weed ControlĀ 

  • Term: 3 years, beginning in 2017
  • Funding Amount: $ 106,828
  • Lead Researcher(s): Steven Shirtliffe (University of Saskatchewan)
  • Funding Partners: Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC), Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG), Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture - Agriculture Development Fund (ADF)
  • Project Description: The objective of this project is to develop a weed clipping strategy to reduce crop-weed competition and weed seed production in wheat and lentil.

    Weed clipping is an in-crop technique that can be used either above the crop or selectively within the crop canopy, which has the potential to reduce weed seed production as well as competition between crop and weeds. There has been no published research into the effects of in-canopy clipping, however preliminary research indicated that above-canopy weed clipping could reduce emergence of wild oat, wild mustard, and common lambsquarters in the following year significantly. Research has commenced recently in Saskatchewan and Alberta on managing wild oat seed production with above-canopy panicle clipping, and seed viability and seedling recruitment studies are currently underway for that project. New weed control techniques are needed to improve weed control efficacy and reduce herbicide reliance in western Canadian field cropping systems.

    There are currently 64 unique cases of herbicide resistant weeds in Canada, and it is estimated that approximately 30% of annually cropped land in the prairies is infested with herbicide resistant weeds. Previous studies on weed clipping studies tell us little about how clipped weeds will recover when competing with annual field crops, or if the impact of weed competition on field crop yield can be reduced by weed clipping. More studies are needed to adapt weed clipping as a weed management technique in annual field cropping systems. Therefore, this project aims to determine, the optimum timing, frequency, and height of weed clipping to maximize crop yield and minimize weed growth and seed production in wheat (in- and above canopy clipping) and lentil (above-canopy clipping); to study the effect of weed clipping on survival and spread of Canada thistle patches, and to validate the efficacy of weed clipping strategy for control of wild mustard and wild oat on weedy land.

    The clipping technique developed through this project will be of interest to many producers in the province who are struggling with poor weed control, and will allow them to increase crop productivity.

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