Agronomy Update – June 3rd

A beautiful day in Prince Edward Island today, and lots of planters going across the province, trying to finish up.  As a province, we’re definitely on the homeward stretch with regards to planting, with lots of variation from farm to farm.  Planting conditions seem to be quite good, with soil warming up and holding quite a bit of moisture for quick emergence and hopefully very few emergence issues.


Time for Herbicides:

Thankfully, soil conditions are better than this time last year for application of pre-emerge herbicides.  Last year, the dry soil at time of planting reduced the effectiveness of many herbicides.

The time is now to get your pre-emerge herbicides on.  They only work properly if you have good soil moisture as well as timing application before weeds germinate.  It’s not just “pre-emerge” with relation to the potatoes, but “pre-emerge” for the germinating weed seeds.

Dr. Andrew McKenzie-Gopsill did a good overview of some of your weed control options at an AIM Workshop this winter…the presentation is available here (PDF).  A few things to keep in mind as you’re getting herbicides on:

  • are you dealing with resistant lamb’s quarters?  If so, then Sencor/Prism won’t be sufficient.
  • if using glyphosate (Round-up)…be sure that it is before ground crack.  Timing is everything.
  • many growers have told me that they’ve had success with Sencor STZ, and it has done well in Andrew’s trials at Harrington as well.  However, it has some plant-back considerations if you grow forages in rotation.  Check the label or consult Andrew’s presentation for more details.
  • There is a new herbicide available for potato growers this spring:  Zidua SC (group 15).  It is labelled for control of redroot pigweed, foxtail, wild oats, and lamb’s quarters.  I’ve also heard that it is effective on nightshades.
  • For your rotation fields that aren’t planted yet and that will be planted soon…don’t forget about weed management!

SpudChat – Seed Topics:

In this week’s episode of SpudChat, I talk with Mary Kay Sonier about a number of seed topics, including changes to crop insurance requirements this year, variety evaluation, PVY prevention, and more.  You can listen at or wherever you download your podcasts.


Tree Planting/Hedgerows:

A lot of growers got in touch regarding the infographic I sent out on Monday regarding a project proposal from the East Prince Agri-Environment Assoc regarding hedgerow planting.  There are quite a few farms interested in tree planting, it seems.

There are two main programs from the PEI Dept of Environment that growers can access:

Planting Hedgerows:

General tree planting program:


Cull Piles – Get Them Covered!

Just a friendly reminder that cull piles need to be covered or buried by June 15th (by regulation from the PEI Dept of Ag).  Cull piles can be sources of early blight, late blight, or PVY inoculum if not properly managed, so it’s very important not to let plants establish in those piles!

Also, it’s very likely that we’ll be seeing more volunteers this year, given the mild winter without a lot of depth of frost in some areas.  Keep an eye on your fields for volunteers and try and eliminate them as best as you can, as they can also be a source for disease and virus spread.

All the best as folks finish up planting and hilling.  Stay safe everyone.