Pulse School: Keeping an eye out for herbicide residue

(Kara Oosterhuis/RealAgriculture)

When you look at the landscape across the Prairies, there’s currently all weather happening — from sunshine and seeding, to snow still covering fields.

Pulse crops require a little bit of different attention in numerous ways, but an imperative thing you have to keep in mind before that seed goes in the ground is — do I have to to worry about herbicide carryover from the previous year or even years?

Given the year that was 2018 and 2019, Andrew Reid, technical service specialist for BASF Canada, says in this Pulse School episode that there are many pockets of the Prairies that really do have to keep a close eye on potential residue. However, if you are in an area that received a fair amount of moisture towards the end of summer 2019, you are at much less risk for carryover, as the moisture helps with the breakdown of those residual products.

If you are in one of those areas, Reid says as a pulse producer, you can focus your energy on other things, when it comes to following the re-cropping restrictions that we have on labels.

“With more moisture coming later last summer, that adds a little more peace of mind to those producers that they can safely recrop and not have to worry about dealing with any carryover injury,” he explains. However, that being said, there are still some areas that really need to keep residual carryover in the forefront of their minds.

“There’s an area in southern Alberta, a lot of it is through the heart of the irrigation district. But even down into the southeast corner of the province, right up to the Saskatchewan border, we’ve identified those dryland acres as a higher risk for 2020. They were incredibly dry last summer. They didn’t catch a lot of those later rainfalls that southern Saskatchewan did, so, unfortunately, they are still in a situation where they may have to be cautious of dealing with carryover for 2020,” he explains, adding that anyone who has applied a significant amount of irrigation after the herbicide application will not have to worry about this.

Reid also says if you go along the Saskatchewan/Alberta border, there is a couple of pockets into Saskatchewan, right in the south-west corner, as well as a pocket around the Kindersley, Sask. area. However, the risks are not nearly as high as they’ve been in the last two years. The complicated part of this all is testing for residue — because to date, Reid says there really isn’t anything around for testing purposes.

“You can do soil tests, you can test for active ingredients, but even if you find it, it doesn’t mean there’s no good correlation between the amount of active ingredient you find in a soil test and level of risk for crop injury,” Reid says. “The best recommendations we can still make is based on our product labels, and the rainfall/environmental conditions the year before.”

Check out the full conversation between Andrew Reid and RealAgriculture’s Shaun Haney, below:

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