GFM Network News


An infestation along an old rail line and a field border.

PHOTOS: Pest Patrol: Reining in dog strangling vine

#PestPatrol with Mike Cowbrough, OMAFRA

Q: I’m seeing a weed called dog strangling vine along roadsides, in woodlots and creeping into agricultural fields. It seems quite invasive. How do I get rid of it? A: Your suspicions are correct. Dog strangling vine is invasive and is listed as a noxious weed under the Ontario Weed Control Act, and regulated as […] Read more

Figure 1. A robotic weeder being tested as part of an engineering design project at the University of Guelph.

Pest Patrol: New herbicide names may not mean new chemistry

#PestPatrol with Mike Cowbrough, OMAFRA

Q: Do I have new opportunities in weed control in 2018? A: This is the question I’ve been asked a lot this past winter meeting season, and one I always struggle to answer. There are some legitimately promising concepts being tested such as robotic weeders (Figure 1 at top) and weed seed destruction tools, but […] Read more


Hemp dogbane in Roundup Ready soybean prior to the spot application of glyphosate.

PHOTOS: Pest Patrol: Dealing with hemp dogbane

#PestPatrol with Mike Cowbrough, OMAFRA

Q: I’ve been battling hemp dogbane in my soybean fields. It produces a milky juice that can stain my beans. What can I do to knock back the top growth so it won’t affect crop quality? A: It’s good that your expectations are for top growth control of hemp dogbane (see figure 1), since it’s […] Read more

A relatively small seedling plant found in corn during mid-June but beyond the labelled stage of growth.

Pest Patrol: Tackling prostrate knotweed on today’s farms

#PestPatrol with Mike Cowbrough, OMAFRA

Q: How do I get rid of prostrate knotweed in each of my major crops? A: In Ontario, prostrate knotweed is more frequently found in Huron County and on Brookston clay-loam soils under no-till or minimum-till production systems (Frick, 1990). It can thrive in compacted soils where other plants will struggle to grow well. Below […] Read more


A patch of willowherb in soybean that had escaped an application of glyphosate.

Pest Patrol: Dealing with willowherb

#PestPatrol with Mike Cowbrough, OMAFRA

Q: I’ve noticed small patches of a plant that was identified as “northern willowherb” in some of my fields. It seems tolerant to glyphosate. How do I control this before it becomes a bigger problem? A: This perennial weed has traditionally been found along roadsides and waste areas. In the last five years, more farmers […] Read more

A young plant in winter wheat during early May.

Pest Patrol: Dealing with cleavers

#PestPatrol with Mike Cowbrough, OMAFRA

Q: I had a field of winter wheat with cleavers in it and it was a pain. What is the best way to get rid of this weed in winter wheat? A: I can’t think of a redeeming quality for cleavers, although apparently the fruit is considered one of the best substitutes for coffee (Malik […] Read more


Pre-plant applications of dicamba at the high rate and to emerged fleabane rosettes have provided the most effective control of glyphosate-resistant Canada fleabane (left) compared to an unsprayed strip (right) when planting Xtend soybean varieties. A followup, post-emergence application of dicamba may be necessary when new seedlings have germinated following crop emergence.

Pest Patrol: Control of Canada fleabane

#PestPatrol with Mike Cowbrough, OMAFRA

Q: Canada fleabane has shown up in various places on our farm this year. I assume it is glyphosate resistant. Do I have any other options for soybeans other than Xtend beans? A: Yes, research conducted by the University of Guelph (Ridgetown Campus) has shown that the addition of Eragon LQ (30 ml/acre) + Sencor […] Read more

Figure 1. A September germinated seedling with its three main divided segments.

Pest Patrol: Controlling wild carrot in no till

#PestPatrol with Mike Cowbrough, OMAFRA

Q: I am a long-time no tiller. I have a problem with increasing populations of wild carrot, mostly in my (conventional) soybean fields. This year in Roundup Ready corn, I have applied up to three litres of Transorb 540 and still have green carrot at harvest-time. What is the solution? Do I need to do […] Read more


Figure 1: Jimsonweed in a corn crop during October.

Pest Patrol: Dealing with jimsonweed

#PestPatrol with Mike Cowbrough, OMAFRA

Q: What weed is this, and how do I get rid of it? A: The weed in the picture (Figure 1 above) is jimsonweed (i.e. Datura stamonium), a member of the nightshade family. According to the Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System, jimsonweed “contains toxic tropane alkaloids, which have caused poisoning and death in humans and […] Read more