It was great to see people face-to-face after years of virtual training sessions. That from Grant Shewfelt of Manitoba Weed Supervisors Association who had a great time at Manitoba Ag Days at the Keystone Centre in Brandon. He says he enjoyed seeing familiar faces and meeting new people, adding they spoke about what weeds they have to deal with throughout the province.
Shewfelt says Mother Nature always finds a way, regardless of whether it's too dry or it's too wet.
"There is going to be a changing scope of what weed problems or challenges we're going to see," says Shewfelt. "Leafy spurge is a dry land weed. It can obtain moisture from very far down, so it will thrive under dry conditions. I just talked to another fellow this morning about weeds that were showing up in his area that he hadn't seen before, like curled dock and those types of weeds that are more suited to wet conditions. It's always changing and we have to be riding a wave of what the next problem is going to be."
Shewfelt notes The Weeds Act of Manitoba is now in three tiers. He says Canada thistle and koshia are considered Tier 3 weeds. According to Shewfelt, they are more common than the weeds found in other tiers. He follows that up by saying Tier 2 weeds are where they spend the bulk of their resources as that's where most of the economic damage is found.
"Leafy spurge, nodding thistle is a new one. There's quite a few in the Tier 2 category that our control programs are based on," says Shewfelt. "Tier 1 weeds will be the least common, but the most invasive. So, those are new weeds that are coming into the area like waterhemp, palmer amaranth, weeds like that that we're not familiar with at all, but we know that neighbouring jurisdictions have them."
Shewfelt says the MWSA offers advice, provides programming, and generally does what it can to help people control their weeds. They have about 30 people in their group and Shewfelt has been in this industry for more than 30 years. You can read more about the group here.