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Combat Kochia resistance

Kochia seedlings
Kochia seedlings emerging in a saline area in early May.

by Heather Grande

Farming Smarter has a study on the best ways to combat herbicide resistant kochia. Kochia does extremely well in southern Alberta weather and is a very strong and problematic weed.

Kochia grow faster rate than most weeds and may have more than one generation in a growing season. This makes it able to become resistant to herbicides over generations.

Lewis Baarda, Farming Smarter Field Tested, leads the study on chemicals that can effectively treat kochia in large fields.

“We are trying to use some of the precision agriculture tools that are out there to initiate a sight specific response,” said Baarda.

He talked about how using precision tools and electronic mapping they will target kochia and areas where it is likely to grow. Using these methods, they are able to lessen the costs and environmental impact of herbicide use.

In the four-year, CAP funded program, Farming Smarter teamed up with Ag Canada and FMC to test different modes of action pesticides to see if there is a sustainable way of effectively managing kochia.

Using plots at Farming Smarter, they will test different variations of chemicals and concentrations of different herbicides, not only in the short term but also over an extended period of time.

Farming Smarter’s goal is to find steps that farmers can take toward kochia prevention and control using integrated pest management strategies.

In fields Kochia zones can be identified by using drone imagery to survey the land.