Farmers are busy reviewing seed test results and finalizing their cropping plans for the spring.
A key issue during the growing season is always weed control and its always important to pencil in some reserves just in case.
Weed Control Specialist Clark Brenzil says when thinking about weed control it's important to develop an integrated weed management system.
"Integrated weed management is the utilization of a broad range of agronomic practices in order to achieve your goal of weed control. Essentially it doesn't rely on any single one practice."
He says a key part of developing an integrated weed management system starts right at seeding.
"We'd be looking at things like changing our seed for planting populations, both increasing seeding rate and reducing row spacing. The whole idea there, is that you're making your crop more competitive against that weed. Not allowing it to grow in large numbers, really get a foothold and get ahead of your crop. You're utilizing the competitive nature of that crop to hold those weeds down."
He says ideally producers want to make their weed management system as diverse as possible to avoid developing resistance.
Results from a prairie-wide survey found the development of Group 1 and 2 herbicide-resistant weeds is growing with the biggest problem area still being wild oats but resistance is growing for other weeds like foxtail, chickweed and cleavers.
A key concern has been the growing population of herbicide-resistant kochia, and more specifically glyphosate-resistant kochia.
Brenzil says kochia is generally more dominant in brown and dark brown soil zones and is really well adapted to growing under hot, dry conditions.
"We've had a lot of that over the last half dozen years or so now, and so it's allowed it to kind of reassert its dominance under those conditions a little bit. So that's why it's more conspicuous now than it maybe was about 10 years ago, when we had we're in a wet cycle."
He notes kochia can be challenging to control, especially if you're really focused on one management practice.
"Anytime you focus on a single management practice, whether it be chemical or whether it be physical. You're going to have a weed like kochia just kind of do a sidestep and it'll just kind of walk around it. That's why developing a more integrated management strategy for your entire weed control system will help you with weeds like kochia that have a more diverse genetic background to them."
Brenzil says the overall goal is making your crop healthier and making it more assertive noting farmers should also look at targeting fertilizer to the crop row instead of broadcasting it.