Phillip Stahlman with Research Update on Blue Mustard

(Phillip Stahlman) Good morning. I’m Phillip Stahlman. I’m the weed scientist here at the Agricultural Research Center at Hays. We’re here at the Spring Wheat Field Day. What I talked about here this morning was some of the research we have going on with the control of blue mustard. Blue mustard is one of the four mustard species we have quite a lot of in the state. It is the least common of those four that we normally deal with though, but it is the most competitive of the four mustards we have. Flixweed would be the most common one statewide, and can be more showy and can stand quite a bit taller than the weed. But the blue mustard that we have here at the Ag Research Center has really grown in density and intensity over the past few years. We have found it to be far more competitive than any other mustard species. We have a particularly heavy infestation of blue mustard in the field behind us here, and what we were looking at as we were comparing a number of different herbicides in this trial for control – the very dramatic thing that we saw was that even though we got exceptionally good weed control with all of the herbicide products, we had a greater affect in maintaining a good wheat crop when we made those applications in the fall compared to in the spring. Just simply by waiting and not controlling those weeds until the latter part of February, we feel we probably lost 30-40, or maybe even 50% of our wheat yield potential just from the competition of the blue mustard. I wanted to get the message across to growers that this particular mustard species is very competitive. They need to be aware of it, make every effort to bring it under control if they do have it. The good news is that we have quite the number of different herbicides that can be very effective in controlling this weed.

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