As we reach the end of May, we have already experienced a few curveballs thrown our way this growing season. Many areas of Alberta were in dire need of moisture at the beginning of the month, however, over the past week or so, and especially over the May long weekend, we saw much of that thirst quenched. While the rain brought relief to the lack of moisture it also was preceded by several cold nights and frost in some areas. With any luck, we will make our way through the establishment phase with stable plant stands and without the need to reseed. As we proceed forward, we are fast approaching the “weed wars” stage of the cropping season. While it is easy to be distracted by this battle don’t forget to follow up on your seedling emergence counts. Farmers in the south should stay alert for wireworm damage, while farmers in the north will want to keep an eye on any disease progression that may require mitigation later in the season.
Within this month's edition you will also find information on two plant growth regulator (PGR) options to mitigate lodging risk in barley. Both Manipulator and Moddus are registered for use on barley in Canada. However, growers may be asking what the right choice is for their farm. Dr. Sheri Strydhorst and I discuss the relevant agronomic information on PGR options for barley, so you can decide what's right for your farm.