If not managed properly, weeds can be a serious problem and reduce the yield of mustard. Weeds compete for water and nutrients and may cause yield loss or reductions in grading. Mustard has the advantage over some other field crops in that it is very competitive and has the ability to outcompete weeds once the crop is established, particularly if good agronomy is practiced. However, if the weed population is high prior to crop establishment, the weeds will compete with the emerging crop at its most vulnerable stage, highlighting the need for an effective burnoff application or tillage regime. Weed management should involve an integrated approach including strong agronomy, proper crop rotations and herbicide applications.
Weeds of concern in mustard are similar to those in other crops. Mustard is marketed as free from genetically-engineered traits; contamination of harvested grain with canola could result in downgrading and reduced market access, and a deteriorated reputation of Canadian mustard. If canola and mustards are grown in the same rotation, it is important that a proper rotation is maintained and that all volunteers are controlled prior to seeding the mustard crop. It is always important to only use registered products for controlling pests in any crop, but it is especially crucial for mustard growers to keep this in mind as the industry is highly dependent on export markets. To ensure best practices are taken, be sure to read product labels, consult the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture’s Guide to Crop Protection, and check with the buyer.
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