Weed survey and management practices used in alfalfa (Medicago sativa) seed fields in 1997
A weed survey in alfalfa seed fields, located primarily in northeast Saskatchewan, was conducted in 1997. Following the weed survey, a farm management questionnaire was used to determine the influence of farm management practices on the surveyed weed community. Results from the weed survey and farm management questionnaire were compared to a similar survey and questionnaire conducted in 1989-90. Wild oats and green foxtail were the most abundant annual grass weeds and their relative abundance did not change significantly. Narrow-leaved hawk’s beard generally decreased in relative abundance while perennial weed species usually increased. Herbicides were the most common weed management practice used in Saskatchewan alfalfa seed fields and their use increased compared to the previous questionnaire. Group 1 herbicide use exceeded the recommended frequency to delay the onset of resistance in wild oats and green foxtail in over half of the fields surveyed. The increase in herbicide use may account for the reduction in relative abundance of some annual broad-leaved weed species between 1989-90 and 1997. The decrease in annual weed competition may have allowed some perennial weeds, which are harder to control with herbicides, to increase in relative abundance.
farm management questionnaire
alfalfa seed production
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