Weather Extremes Put Growers on Offense

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Cal Barta

The 2022 wheat-growing season in the Pacific Northwest was a tale of two spray timings caused by unexpected spring weather shifts.

“Spring seemed to be here in February and March, and then we went to zero degrees with a lot of wind for a week or more,” says Cal Barta, agronomist and owner of Ag Enterprise Supply Co. in Cheney, Washington. “It’s been a real challenging year with weather extremes.”

Before the cold snap hit, many of Barta’s growers had made their first spring sprays. 

“Some plants didn’t take up herbicides well because of the cold, and when the window opened to make a late spray, the weeds were larger and more difficult to control,” Barta says.

For many wheat growers, grasses and other problem weeds became difficult to control in winter wheat. Mayweed chamomile and prickly lettuce escapes also were a concern.

“Poor weed control was a physiological response to the weather. The exception was WideARmatch herbicide — it kicked butt this year,” Barta says.

“In a year of challenging weed control, we saw significantly quicker weed mortality with WideARmatch.” — Cal Barta

The challenges didn’t end there. After experiencing an unusually cool, wet spring that lasted into June, the area set a record for days above 90 degrees in July and August.

“In July, when spring crops were flowering and filling, our temperatures went from 75 to 95 and it just blow-torched crops in some areas,” Barta says. 

He reports that some areas of the state are harvesting an average yield with quality issues and other areas are yielding 20 bushels above average, depending on where the rains hit and where the extreme heat was. 

“In a year of challenging weed control, we saw significantly quicker mortality with WideARmatch, especially on lambsquarters and pigweed, which are becoming more of an issue our area,” Barta says. “We’re seeing a 10-day speed of kill with WideARmatch versus three weeks on other herbicides, saving us moisture and fertilizer. And growers are noticing the quicker kill they’re getting with WideARmatch.”

WideARmatch® is not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Arylex® is a registered active ingredient. Always read and follow label directions.