Weed Control

Growing potatoes is an intensive business. With so many variables to control to ensure crop success, it may seem simpler to keep a schedule; for example, spraying for all weeds when they are at an average stage of development and then spraying for disease every Monday. But, according to a weed management specialist with Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF) and the Ministry of Rural Affairs (MRA), this is not the best way to control weeds effectively – and maybe not even economically.

Jan. 10, 2014, Mississauga – BASF Canada has received regulatory approval for Outlook, a new herbicide for potato growers.

As the amount and timing of rainfall becomes more variable, the company says Outlook will provide consistent control of nightshade, pigweed and annual grasses, even under drier conditions. Outlook is a Group 15 herbicide, which controls both triazine and Group 2-resistant biotypes whose populations continue to increase across the country.

Outlook contains the active ingredient Dimethenamid-P which inhibits weed root and shoot growth, controlling susceptible weeds before they emerge from the soil. Outlook is applied after potatoes are planted but before they emerge from the soil.

Growers have been waiting for another option for managing rhizoctonia and now one is available. DuPont is releasing Vertisan this spring and the bonus is it contains new chemistry within Group 7 products. It also offers management of early blight as a foliar spray, giving growers another option for early blight.

Ever have a bin where, despite your best efforts to prevent rot, all you see are spoiled potatoes when you open the hatch? Applying fungicides or sprout inhibitors as the potatoes are placed in storage are obvious solutions, but what if the problem is the application or amount of the used product? Despite growers’ expertise, the method used for applying products as the tubers are placed into storage may be the problem.

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