Derek's Notes

Straight Combining Canola

~ This week’s blog is brought to you by Dwight Willoughby, P.Ag,  CCSC

An interesting discussion of straight combing canola was published in the Canola Digest Science magazine.  The article sighted a four year study sponsored by SaskCanola.  Research noted differences in resistance to pod drop and pod shatter between 15 canola hybrids across varying growing seasons.   The study noted environmental conditions,  generally had a larger impact on yield reductions than varieties as well timeliness matters more than variety.

Grower Testimonial

~ Adam Legault  (Elie, MB)

“Pioneer 46H75 was a pleasure to straight cut this year.  It also slightly outperformed competing varieties on our farm.  With superior weed control options and a basis premium, I see good reason to include it in our 2017 crop plan.”

DuPont™ Express® herbicides


DuPont™ Express® herbicides

Herbicide Resistance: 

Herbicide resistant weeds are becoming a significant issue across Western Canada. Bringing a new herbicide active to market is very costly and time consuming, CropLife International estimates it takes over 11 years and $268M on average. For these reasons, we cannot rely on new herbicides to come to our rescue and must be proactive in helping to preserve the herbicide tools we already have in place. Recent research indicates that combining multiple modes of action in the same tank mix is more effective in delaying resistance than rotating herbicides. Adding a product like Express® to your glyphosate in a post-harvest or pre-seed burndown is the easiest way to incorporate an additional mode of action to reduce the pressure on glyphosate alone, as well to provide better control of hard to kill weeds.

Controlling weeds in the fall:

There are a number of good reasons to target weed control in the fall.  Fall temperatures trigger the movement of nutrients to the roots of perennials and biennials to build up reserves for the following season. A systemic herbicide, like Express®, takes advantage of this movement into the root system, allowing for better control. Furthermore, winter annuals can be targeted in the fall while they’re still small, rather than waiting until spring when they’re larger and can out compete your crop. Finally, fall is a good time to control the weeds you can’t effectively manage with in crop herbicides for pulses (like peas, lentils) and canola.

Application Tips: 

Apply to actively growing weeds 

  • Weeds damaged at harvest need time to accumulate new leaf tissue. This is essential for herbicide uptake and efficacy

Spraying after a frost

  • Frost damaged weeds are not healthy and will not take up herbicide
  • Delay spraying if leaf tissues are blackened, browned or dark green, these are signs of cold temperature damage. Leaves should be vibrant green, shiny and pliable. Look for new growth

Timing & weather conditions 

  • Generally, recommend application by October 1st
  • Spray in late morning or afternoon, when temperatures are warmer and heavy dew is off the plant
  • Ideally, apply when temperatures are above 10oC and rising on days with predicted highs above 15oC or more
  • Bright sunny conditions are ideal for moving herbicides to the roots where they will have the most impact next year

DuPont ™ Express® brand herbicides: 

All Express® herbicides are powered by Solumax® soluble granules that dissolve, not just disperse, for efficient plant absorption resulting in consistent weed control and easy sprayer cleanout.

Express® works systemically within the plant right down to the roots, so weeds will not grow back. Express® is available in convenient, compact packaging, or customized for a grower’s specific field or spray tank size as PrecisionPac® non-crop herbicide blends.

DuPont™ Express® SG – For maximum cropping & timing flexibility 

Express® SG offers excellent value tank mixed with 0.5 REL glyphosate rather than bumping up the rate of glyphosate alone. Combining 2 herbicide modes of action versus 1, results in proactive resistance management. Express® SG will control weeds not controlled by glyphosate alone, and provides improved control of the toughest weeds such as volunteer canola (excluding ClearField® varieties), dandelion, and wild buckwheat (see label for complete list). Express® SG offers maximum application & cropping flexibility.

  • Pre-seed: 
    • Seed cereals, field peas, dry beans, faba beans, lupin, soybeans, alfalfa, canary seed, red clover or alsike clover, smooth or meadow bromegrass, timothy & creeping red rescue 24 hours after application
  • Chem-fallow 
  • Post-Harvest:  
    • Seed winter wheat 24 hours after fall burn off
    • Seed any cereal crop, canola, canary seed, alfalfa, field peas, lentils, dry beans, fababeans, lupin, soybean, flax, alfalfa, red clover or alsike clover, smooth bromegrass, meadow bromegrass, timothy and creeping red fescue the following spring

DuPont™ Express® PRO – Professional strength burn-off with extended control

Express® PRO delivers all of the benefits as Express® SG but also provides extended control (up to 15 days+) of key tough weeds such as: wild buckwheat, volunteer canola (excluding ClearField® varieties), and cleavers (see label for complete list). Express® PRO is a great option to use ahead of winter wheat in the fall to ensure a clean start next spring. Limit the use of Express® PRO to one application per season.

  • Pre-seed:  
    • Apply prior to seeding spring wheat, winter wheat, durum wheat or barley
  • Chem-fallow 
  • Post-Harvest
    • Seed winter wheat 24 hours after fall burn off
    • Seed wheat, barley or oats next spring


Fall Applied Express® SG. Weed control efficacy of Express® SG applied post-harvest as shown compared with a sprayer miss. Photo taken the following spring.


For more information on Express® or other DuPont products please contact:

Caelyn Shearer

DuPont Crop Protection

Grower Specialist, Eastern Manitoba

(204) 918-8356

As with all crop protection products, read and follow label instructions carefully.   Member of CropLife Canada. Unless indicated, trademarks with ®, ™ or sm are trademarks of DuPont or affiliates. © 2016 DuPont.

Post-Harvest Weed Control for a Better Start Next Spring

distinctThis week’s blog is brought to you by Paula Halabicki, BASF Technical Service Specialist

Distinct herbicide provides an excellent broad spectrum and alternative mode of action product for use on broadleaf annual, winter annual and perennial weeds in the post-harvest use segment.  Distinct combines two modes of action: dicamba, a Group 4 synthectic auxin and diflufenzopyr, a Group 19 that allows the weed control to glyphosate, resulting in cleaner fields in the spring and an effective herbicide resistance management strategy.

Here are some tips for the best results with Distinct applied in the fall:

  • Apply in the morning or early afternoon, as plants need two to four hours of 10 degrees Celsius or greater for effective translocation of systemic herbicides like Distinct.
  • Give weeds 1 or 2 days after frost before scouting to determine if herbicide applications are still available.
  • Leaves of weeds should have >60% green after a frost event for effective uptake of herbicides.  If more than 40% of tissue is dead due to frost, herbicides will be ineffective on weeds.
  • Perennial weeds can tolerate some frost depending on temperatures leading up to the frost event.  If daily temperature lows reach 5 degrees  or lower for multiple days prior to the frost event, perennial plants “harden off” and may with stand frosts close to -10 degrees and still be effectively controlled with post-harvest treatments.  Without these lead up temperatures, these plants can be dormant after a frost as light as -3 degrees, resulting in reduced control.  Scouting for actively growing plants is vital prior to application.

Tank mixed with glyphosate, one case of Distinct will treat 40-80 acres, depending on rate (58-115 g/ac) and is supported with Merge or MSO applied at 200 ml /ac.  Distinct applied at 80 ac/case prior to October 15 allows for all cereal and corn crops to be seeded the following spring.  Applications prior to October 1 allows for all canola systems, soybeans, field peas, and lentils to be seeded the following spring.  Applications prior to September 1, allow for all other unlisted crops to be planted the following spring.  If higher rates of Distinct are used after September 1, rotate to cereal or corn crops only.

A fall application of Distinct herbicide in combination with glyphosate allows for effective management of weeds, including glyphosate-resistant weeds, and gives growers the best chance at starting with clean fields in the spring.


LynnThis week’s blog is brought to you by Lynn Van De Spiegle, BASF Crop Protection

With tightening canola rotations and an over reliance on resistance genetics as a sole method for controlling the disease, blackleg is making a resurgence across Western Canada.


Blackleg can infect the plant from seedling through to harvest with early season infections causing the most economic impact.  Early infection can result in the blocking of nutrient and water flow to the plant resulting in premature plant death, increased lodging, and decreased yield.  While seeds are protected through seed treatments, plants are vulnerable by the 2 leaf stage as seed treatments wear off.

While harvest is the best time to scout for the disease, you can also see signs of blackleg at this time of year.  Greyish, white lesions speckled with black pycnidia on the leaf surface or lesions on the stem may be signs of blackleg, but can also be misdiagnosed with other diseases.

As an additional tool to compliment resistance genetics, the addition of Priaxor fungicide with your canola herbicide is a great option.  Priaxor combines the unique mobility properties of the active ingredient Xemium, with the proven benefits of AgCelence in a multiple mode of action formulation.

Priaxor delivers more consistent and continuous blackleg control and plants that often show increased growth efficiency and better management of minor stress resulting in an average increase of 3 bushels per acre across 100 research and grower applied trials over the past 3 seasons when applied at the 2-6 leaf stage.

As you begin your canola herbicide applications this season, consider the addition of Priaxor to protect your canola and help maximize your seed investment.


Soybean Planting Rates

~ This weeks blog brought to you by Dwight Willoughby and Derek Erb~

Establishing healthy, uniform stands are important to maximize soybean profitability, even though soybeans respond to reduced stands by increasing lateral branching.  Optimum conditions may be needed to reach max potential in years with reduced stands.

Factors that can impact plant survival vary each year and every farm has different risks they are willing to take on.

Factors Affecting Soybean Seeding Rate

  • Soil Type:   Soils with high clay (our area) often remain cool and wet favor certain seeding diseases such as Phytophthora and Pythium.
  • Soil Residue:   Fields with lots of residue will keep the soil cooler and wetter again favoring slow emergence and increase risk of seeding diseases.
  • Planter vs. Drill:  Typically planters do a better job of seed placement increasing plant counts and uniformity.  Manitoba Pulse Growers uses a factor of plant survival of 82% with a planter and 72% with a drill.
  • Row Width:  Higher seeding rates have traditionally been recommended for narrow-row soybeans.
  • Planting Date:  Early planting into cool wet soil typically means slower emergence and again increase risk for seedling diseases.  Late planting increase planting rate would limit branching and hopefully reduce maturity.

Manitoba Pulse Growers recommend a harvestable plant count in the fall of 140,000 – 150,000 plants per acre to reach 100% yield potential.  Under ideal conditions emergence is around 85%.   Under poor conditions (one of multiple of the factors above) survival rate can drop to 50-65%.  Doing final plant counts at seeding and harvest are critical to establish a benchmark for your operation.  You may find you are wasting money on over seeding or losing yield from too low of planting rates.

Calculating Seeding Rates (Manitoba Pulse Growers have an excellent smartphone app for this).

Decide what your final stand target is, then account for actual seed germination and your emergence factor.

Seeding Rate = Targeted final stand / (% germination x % emergence)

Example 1

Farmer using a drill on 15″ rows planted in Mid May targets final stand of 140,000.  Seed tag indicates 90% germination and he is planting in good conditions with a drill, his calculation would be:

140,000 / (0.90 x 0.72) = 216,000 seeds/acre

Example 2

Same conditions and seed lot as above, but using a planter on 15″ row spacing and same target population.  Seed rate calculation is:

140,000/ (0.90 x 0.82) = 189,700


  • Manitoba Pulse Growers recommend a final plant count at harvest of 140,000 – 150,000 plants/acre.
  • Critical to do plant counts on your farm so you can determine (aside from seed germination) what final plant count success rate is on average.
  • Adjust seeding rates when conditions are not ideal.
  • Soybeans are very resilient and can compensate for lower plant populations however the growing conditions have to play big role capturing a profitable crop.


As you can see over 60% of the soybeans planted in Manitoba (of farmers surveyed) are planted over 170,000 plants/acre.

Make it a point to talk to us about what your targets are and be sure to do the counts in the spring and again at harvest time.  It takes time and effort to do these counts but well worth the investments.

Like Will Rogers said, “Good judgement comes from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgement.”


Guess the Yield Contest!

Guess the Yield Locations

Guess the Yield Locations

We are really excited about our product line up and want you to see them in fields locally!  There are some really awesome incentives to have you go check them out and GUESS THE YIELD, as many of you know from the email and texts sent out to your farm operation last week.

~Scroll down to see area maps with the locations of contest fields~


  • We have designated canola, soybean and corn fields in your area, which will be marked with a Derek Erb Seeds Guess the Yield sign.  Maps with the field locations are found below, or simply call Derek and Dwight for locations.  Locations were decided on based on proximity and accessibility.
  • Go to the designated field, take a photo of the sign showing which field you are in,  and finally text Derek your guess on the yield @ 204-792-6744
  • Winners from EACH location will be determined by the closest guess to the actual yield (weighed by Derek Erb Seeds Inc) without going over.
  • Winners from all locations will be placed in a ballot box for the GRAND PRIZE draw, date / location of draw will be announced once all fields have been weighed.
  • Enter your guess at ONE or ALL the locations, BUT only 1 entry per FARM OPERATION for each field.
  • The first 24 growers to enter a guess will get a DuPont Pioneer USB car charger to help fire up their gadgets while on the go this harvest!

If you have any questions regarding the contest, do not hesitate to contact Derek 204-792-6744 or Dwight 204-770-4678


Brunkild Guess the Yield location

Brunkild Guess the Yield locations

Doman Guess the Yield Locations

Domain Guess the Yield Locations

Fannystelle Guess the Yield Location

Fannystelle Guess the Yield Location

Oak Bluff Guess the Yield Locations

Oak Bluff Guess the Yield Locations

Sanford Guess the Yield Location

Sanford Guess the Yield Location

Starbuck Guess the Yield Location # 1

Starbuck Guess the Yield Locations     MAP # 1

Starbuck Guess the Yield Locations  MAP # 2

Starbuck Guess the Yield Locations    MAP # 2





Local 4H Club receives $1000.00 grant from DuPont Pioneer


Starbuck 4H

From Left; Derek Erb (Pioneer sales representative), Sharron Masse (4H Leader), Jack Zuk (Treasurer)

~Today’s blog brought to you by Erin Erb~

Starbuck, MB – April 30, 2015

A local 4H club received a financial boost when Pioneer sales representative Derek Erb (Derek Erb Seeds Inc.) dropped off a $1000.00 cheque.  The cheque is courtesy of DuPont Pioneer’s Leaders Helping Leaders program, and is one of the perks of winning a Sales Excellence Award given to sales representatives each year.

Sales Excellence Plaque presented to Derek Erb Seeds Inc.

Sales Excellence Plaque presented to Derek Erb Seeds Inc.

It was the decision of Derek Erb and Dwight Willoughby to allocate the $1000.00 community grant to the Starbuck 4H Club.

For more information about the Leaders Helping Leaders program, contact:       Derek Erb 204-792-6744                        Dwight Willoughby 204-770-4678          Erin Erb 204-832-7553

Cleaver Management in Canola


~Today’s blog brought to you by Dwight Willoughby


Cleaver is an inseparable seed in canola,  so beyond weed completion cleavers can be devastating to canola production.  Cleavers can produce 3,500 seeds and a canola seed sample with > 2% cleavers will be graded sample, meaning a huge economic hit to canola producers.

To manage cleavers operations need a crop rotation approach to maximize control to reduce cleavers spreading.  Awareness and catching infestations early is very important to prevent seed multiplying especially since cleavers can persist in the soil for up to 3 years.

Keys to Cleaver Management

  •  Don’t use farm saved seed from cleaver infested fields, plant certified seed for your rotation
  • Cleavers is a winter and spring annual so scout in the fall, control cleavers in the fall in winter wheat
  • Burnoff winter annuals before cleavers get too big for incrop control in the spring
  • Time weed control based on the herbicide window recommended, do not stretch rates
  • Use Clearfield canola for the best herbicide production system
  • As  you rotate crops take advantage to rotate herbicide groups over the field’s history to prevent resistance
  • Consider preharvest glyphosate  where appropriate
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