Herbicide resistant weeds was one of the topics discussed this week at St. Jean Farm Days.

The province's weed specialist Tammy Jones was asked if there is a solution that farmers can turn to.

"There isn't one solution and herbicides are not the way to manage herbicide resistance," she said. "They are a tool that we can use in combination. I think diversity becomes the solution in that you need to rotate your crops, you need to rotate your row spacing, you need to grow a competitive crop. You need to apply the herbicide at the right rate, at the right time. There's so many things that need to go into it while you pay your bills, that there's just not a single solution out there. That's why I can't say, 'hey, here's your silver bullet'."

Jones says one of the biggest concerns right now is glyphosate resistant kochia.

"If we look back to 2016, we had about five municipalities where we were confirming that there was glyphosate resistant kochia. In 2018, based on the data set alone that we have, there's 12 municipalities that actually have glyphosate resistance confirmed. I'll be honest in saying that I think that's a huge under-representation of what's out there because there are a lot of individuals, for a number of reasons, that don't do the testing."

Palmer amaranth and tall waterhemp are also a concern for Jones.

"Currently we've only seen a couple of municipalities that have had one or two plants of waterhemp in Manitoba and we'd really like to keep it that way. The other key about Palmer amaranth and tall waterhemp for Manitoba is that they're tier one noxious weeds. If we do find them, we need to destroy them because we're trying to prevent them from having the impact on our ag sector like they have in the U.S. where farmers have lost their farms."

She notes six-way resistance is being seen in the U.S. for both Palmer amaranth and waterhemp.

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