The Edge herbicide, which is a Group 3 herbicide, has now been approved for use on hemp crops. Known for its unique group 3 mode of action, Edge is a perfect resistance management tool to use in your hemp farm. It’s older chemistry that has broader spectrum coverage and is quite effective in minimizing the risk of developing herbicide-resistant weeds. The product, which is marketed by Gowan Canada, has recently been approved for use on industrial hemp. In fact, hemp is among the crops listed on the product label, along with canola and several other specialty crops.
In Alberta, Canada, hemp producers cultivate about 25,000 acres of the crop and recent statistics show that Canadian production of the crop ranges from 75,000 to 100,000 acres. Most of the production goes towards producing hemp grain, which is used mainly by food production companies. A lot of the producers of hemp in Canada are still waiting for the fiber processing market to fall right in the place and to soon open up to more opportunities for hemp fiber that can be used in a wide range of industrial products, including insulated blocks, car parts, sporting equipment, and erosion control mats.
Hemp fiber processing is expected to take place in the next few years. Thus, the hemp crop is expected to go from the current value of $200 million to more than $1 billion in the coming years. In the meantime, hemp growers this year are producing crops for the commercial food market. They’re producing a range of oilseeds and grains through an irrigated cropping system and with the help of Edge herbicides. The herbicide is usually applied to the soil right before seeding.
The Edge granular herbicide can be used effectively in a minimal to zero till cropping operation, with only a light harrowing in order to help it get into contact with the soil. Ethalfluralin, the active ingredient in the herbicide will not change, but by moving towards direct seeding in dry-land farming, most of the seeds usually go towards the top portion of the soil profile and they will immediately get into contact with the area where the Edge herbicide has been applied.
Managing Herbicide Resistance
Edge granular is the best solution when it comes to herbicide resistance. It can be used alone and rotated with other herbicides or applied as a base layer through herbicide layering program in order to manage herbicide-resistant crops, as well as the broadleaf weed like kochia, green foxtail, and others.
Edge is suitable for both zero tillage and conventional operations. In zero tillage, surface application with light harrowing is ideal in providing optimum control. As for conventional tillage, it’s recommended to incorporate Edge granular twice to provide a 3 to 4-inch layer of protection from the germinating weeds.
Edge is also capable of controlling weeds underground as the weeds start to germinate in the treated area of the soil. Pre-emergent weed control is important as it helps to get your crops off to a clean start, which maximizes yield in return.