Control of late-season herbicide escapes and volunteer canola by selective cutting using the CombCut

Crop Soybean
Start Date2019
End Date2020
Principal InvestigatorEntz, Martin, University of Manitoba
Total Project Funding$32,600
ReportEntz – CombCut Annual Report SEP 2019

Research Objectives

  1. - Test, adapt and refine the use of the CombCut to be used complementary with herbicides to manage late-season weed escapes in soybeans
  2. - Evaluate the potential of the CombCut to reduce weed seed return and improve yield in soybeans
  3. - Determine optimal timing of CombCut use
  4. - Determine optimal frequency of CombCut use

Project Description

Herbicide escapes increase likelihood of herbicide resistance development and can reduce crop yield. Additionally, volunteer canola in soybeans has created the potential for long-term negative effects through seed bank contributions which often occur before crop harvest. Mechanical weed control provides an opportunity to manage annual weeds not controlled through herbicide application. The CombCut is a new mechanical weed control tool used to cut weeds out of the crop. Although developed for below-canopy use in cereals, this tool has the potential to manage weeds above the canopy in broadleaf crops such as soybeans. Managing weeds above the canopy increases light available to the crop, thereby reducing risk of loss in yield. Furthermore, the CombCut removes seed producing parts of weeds or volunteer crops, reducing weed seeds in the seedbank.

This project will investigate the use of the CombCut to control late-season weed escapes in soybean. The research group at the University of Manitoba has 20 years of experience using alternative weed control methods in organic, pesticide-free and integrated grain production, and now want to apply that knowledge, experience and tools to weed management in soybean production.

The objectives of the project are to: 1) test, and create recommendations for the use of the CombCut in soybean; 2) Test the reduction of weed seed return using the CombCut to manage volunteer canola and late season weed escapes and 3) evaluate possible yield benefit of managing above canopy weeds and volunteer canola.

This project will be conducted the U of M Carman farm as well as area farms. By including actual farms in this research , we will be able to investigate the efficacy of this weed management strategy in unique weed spectrums. This research will provide MPSG farmer members with solutions to competitive late-season weed escapes. The project will increase yield potential in soybean and reduce the likelihood of herbicide resistant weeds.