I likely don’t need to tell any of you that this year has been great for weeds thus far. There is lots of hilling and herbicide spraying going on around the province…I hope that you’ll all be able to finish that up very soon. For a link to all of the available herbicides for potatoes, consult the PEI Potato Guide (PDF).
I’m seeing a lot of weedy fields around the province that aren’t planted yet…likely destined for sudangrass, pearl millet, multi-species mixes, etc. While it’s wise to wait to plant those types of crops in warm soil (like now), don’t let those weeds get too advanced. Consider mowing weeds before they go to seed if you’re going to direct seed those cover crops. The most effective step in any weed management plan is not letting those weeds set seed!
If you are seeing potato volunteers in your grain, don’t assume that they will be controlled by a product like MCPA…experience and research shows that it rarely is effective. Even glyphosate in Round-Up Ready crops like corn or soybean is usually only effective when the volunteers are very immature. If the level of volunteers is high (like in a field border/beside a hedgerow), mowing/tillage might be the most necessary option. If just a few volunteers spread through the field, they will likely be controlled by Colorado potato beetles or can be removed by hand.
On the Agronomy Site, we have a link to a study from New Brunswick on volunteer management options.
OneSoil – Crop Management Platform
If you’re interested in precision agriculture and you’d like to get your feet wet while not taking on a large commitment or cost, one option to explore is a free online platform called OneSoil (app.onesoil.ai). It is available through your browser or through an Android app on Google Play, and they are in the process of launching an iPhone app as well.
This is a company based out of Belarus. Like anything that is free…it only can do so much, and you are agreeing to have your information used in aggregate for “big data” computations (just like Facebook, Twitter, etc). However, I have read through their privacy agreements and it does sound like a legitimate operation.
OneSoil already had field boundaries drawn for every field in PEI (though some may need to be corrected/improved). You just select your fields, say what crop is planted and the planting date, and you’re started. It provides free access to NDVI satellite images to measure vegetation/crop health throughout the growing season. It also give field specific weather forecasts as well as GDD and precipitation accumulation, using local weather data. It can also be used as a scouting platform as well as having functionality for creating variable rate fertility maps. Even just for keeping track of field management, it has value. Give it a try if you’re looking for a first foray into this type of crop management platform. If you have questions about it, contact me or Evan MacDonald at the PEIDAL (who brought it to my attention! – Thanks Evan).
Through AIM, we also have some evaluations of other crop management systems happening this year, and we’ll be sharing those grower experiences with you after the growing season.
Island Agrology Workshop – Aug 18-20th
The PEI Institute of Agrologists is hosting a workshop Aug 18th to 20th in Stanley Bridge on the topic of Building Resiliency in Maritime Agriculture. This workshop includes two mornings of presentations, and agricultural tour on Monday afternoon, and two social evenings for networking and fun.
For more information or to register to attend, visit https://peiia.ca/events/
Save the Date: Precision Ag Conference at UPEI – Aug 22nd
The School of Sustainable Design Engineering at UPEI is hosting a one-day conference on precision agriculture on August 22nd. Stay tuned for more details, but put the date in your calendar if you’d like to attend!