The Silent Killer- Kochia Weed
With small showers and the heat rising, the crops are happy and really starting to grow! Corn is good at collecting any moisture we get and storing it in the seeds to utilize with warmer temperatures. Unfortunately these good growing conditions are ideal for weeds as well. Kochia is a very competitive and dangerous weed that we deal with in Saskatchewan. Kochia has hairy leaf surfaces which are resistant to chemical treatment and strive in drier conditions. The window for chemical effectiveness is very short, the small, hairy plants do not absorb the chemical and the taller plants are too strong for the chemical to affect it. With the last two years moisture level has been dropping, kochia is becoming a larger problem every year. Kochia plants carry a large number of seeds that are spread through wind (which we have been getting a lot of lately). The plant is a serial crossover which refers to the fact that each seed is individual (like humans) meaning that new mutations and characteristics are constantly showing up. With the seeds spreading, this caused large mats of kochia to be formed. These mats cause issues because they choke out crops trying to grow and also chemicals cannot penetrate the mat to kill all the plants. The best option for kochia control is crop rotation so that different chemicals can be used to treat that land and the competition for the weeds differs as well.
Kochia weed choking out corn by causing large mats.
Corn is really starting to grow!