Entries by blueclinic

Managing Herbicide Drift

There are very few things that can turn good neighbourly relations as sour as herbicide drift can. There is no shortage of instances where friendships are strained because someone’s favourite grape tree or tomato plant was killed after a neighbour sprayed dandelions. But herbicide drift is not only a concern for the owner of sensitive […]

Weed control: Watch out for Kochia

When it comes to weed control, Kochia is a nasty one to deal with. Here’s what you should know. ‘A weed is but an unloved flower’ – that’s according to popular author and poet, Ella Wheeler Wilcox. I guess she’s right…especially the ‘unloved’ part. They may be flowers, but as long as they are growing […]

Crop nutrition during a drought

Don’t give up on crop nutrition during a drought! The current dry conditions across many parts of the Prairies have farmers keeping one eye on the sky and the other on their crop. Although it is heartwarming to know that dry soils in spring are not a sure sign of crop failure, it is important […]

Diagnosing deficiencies in crop nutrients

Plants need 17 essential elements for growth and reproduction. An element is deemed essential mainly if it’s required for a plant to complete its life cycle. Elements were accepted into the ‘essentiality’ clique at different times based on when somebody proved they had met the aforementioned criterion. For example, nitrogen was accepted as an essential […]

Dealing with insect pests of seedlings

A termite walks into a bar and asks, “Where is the bar tender?” This joke right here is a witty reminder that insects love tender plant parts. Seedlings fit the profile perfectly. They are tender, succulent, close to the ground and are easy pickings for a host of insect pests. If left unchecked, these insects […]

Soil temperature and seeding

Soil temperature: Here’s what to consider and what to measure when seeding In many office settings, a request to adjust the temperature of the shared office space can be met with anything from a cold shoulder, to a lukewarm acknowledgement, or a heated argument. Out in the field, however, nature holds the thermostat and we […]

Minimizing Nitrogen Losses

If there was a throne meant for the king of plant nutrients, I bet nitrogen will be sitting on it, unopposed. The nutrient is by far the most important in crop production. It’s also the most studied, and the most talked about. I’ve even found several songs dedicated to it, from pop to rap…that’s quite […]

Herbicide Resistance

If your weeds are refusing to die, you might be facing herbicide resistance. Since the 1940s, when herbicides were commercially released, their use has revolutionized agricultural productivity. Without them, weed control in large-scale farming will neither be economical nor practical, and yield losses will be massive. But the innovation was unfortunately accompanied by the increase […]

How water quality affects herbicide efficiency

Recently, I read a chemistry quote that said, “You either have to be part of the solution, or you’re going to be part of the precipitate”. Now, I know that’s a play on Eldridge Cleaver’s famous words (You either have to be part of the solution, or you’re going to be part of the problem), […]

The truth about soil health

When the Soil Conservation Council of Canada challenged everybody to ‘soil your undies’, the move sparked a lot of interest. Farmers and gardeners buried clean underwear in the soil and then dug them up 2 months later to assess soil health. Those whose soils were healthy dug up little else besides elastic waistbands. Instead, those […]