Guide to Weed Control Hort Crops 2018 – Pub 75B is Now Available


Kristen Obeid, Weed Management Specialist – Horticulture

The OMAFRA Guide to Weed Control Hort Crops 2018 (Publication 75B) is available in the following formats:

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Basil Downy Mildew Update – June 27, 2018

There have been no official reports of basil downy in field grown basil so far this year. However, basil downy mildew is usually present to some extent on greenhouse grown basil in garden centers in the spring. Often the disease does not progress in late spring or early summer due to an open canopy in the field and less favourable cool and dry conditions. However, recent rains over the past week followed but hot and humid weather over the next week will greatly increase the risk of the disease in field basil. A southerly flow with occasional thunderstorms will also increase the risk of inoculum coming in from basil growing regions in the US. Continue reading

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Lavender Crop Update – June 22, 2018

Angustifolia cultivars of lavender are approaching the beginning of bloom in many areas. Many fields are full of colourful buds, but bloom doesn’t begin until the flower petals emerge from the buds and open. Harvest for buds and dried bundles should occur soon after the first buds begin to open. This allows for full development of the buds, but few of the flower petals, since these turn brown once they dry and reduce the appearance and cleanliness of the buds. Continue reading

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Final Re-evaluation Decisions for Mancozeb and Iprodione: All Uses on Ginseng Cancelled

The Pest Management Regulatory Agency of Health Canada has issued its final decisions on the re-evaluations of mancozeb products (e.g. Dithane, Manzate, Penncozeb, Kingpin) and iprodione (Rovral). All applications of these products to ginseng are being cancelled. Application of these products to ginseng will not be permitted beyond June 21, 2021, which is three years after the publication date of the decision. Before then, sale of the products to ginseng growers will be discontinued no later than June 21, 2020. All other crop uses of these products are also being cancelled except for foliar applications to potatoes. Continue reading

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Ginseng Crop Update – June 22, 2018

Following heavy rains in many areas earlier this week, many ginseng gardens were flooded, at least temporarily. With the potential for three days of wet weather this weekend the risk of Phytophthora will be greatly increased. The risk will be especially high if there are thunderstorms with heavy downpours mixed in. All Phytophthora needs to infect leaves is free water on the leaves for a period of about 24 hours, so the amount of rain is not as important as the duration of rain. Growers should ensure protectant fungicides are applied for foliar Phytophthora ahead of the rains. Foliar application should be done at a lower water volume than what is used for root rot, since you do not want the fungicide to run off of the leaves. The first signs of foliar Phytophthora are darkened, water-soaked areas on the leaves, or isolated leaves drooping straight down (Figure 1). If there are areas of exposed mud in the trenches, apply additional straw to reduce the potential of splashing spores onto leaves with machinery or rainfall. Continue reading

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Hop Irrigation Watch, June 2018 Update

OMAFRA Hop Irrigation Logo

Over the last 14 days, dry conditions have persisted in South and Central Ontario with minimal precipitation other than isolated showers and thunderstorms in some regions.  Figure 1 shows the 14 day accumulated precipitation for Southern Ontario and Eastern Canada from AAFC’s Canadian Drought Monitor.

14 day accumulated precipitation
Figure 1: 14 day accumulated precipitation as of 14 June, 2018.

As we consider the previous 30 days, much of the southern part of the province is well below normal precipitation amounts for this time of year (Figure 2).

30 day percent of normal
Figure 2: 30 day percent of average as of 14 June, 2018.

With dry conditions continuing across much of the province, it is important to be continually monitoring precipitation amounts and frequency in your hop yard.


Water availability to hops is essential during the vegetative growth stages and inflorescence development through to cone maturity.   Studies have shown that supplemental irrigation can improve yield and quality of hops and may positively affect alpha acid concentrations. Most recommendations suggest 7.5 L of water per plant per day (~2 U.S. gal/plant/day) is adequate for plant growth, however , some more recent information on Evapotranspiration (ET) rates of hops suggest the plant may require even more water, up  to 19 L/plant/day (~5 U.S. gal/plant/day) for optimal plant growth.  Always remember to include rainfall amounts when calculating how much supplemental irrigation should be applied.

The OMAFRA FactSheet ‘Monitoring Soil Moisture to Improve Irrigation Decisions‘ provides good information on irrigation practices and the tools available for monitoring soil moisture.  It is available online in HTML format or you can request a hard copy from Service Ontario.

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Hop Leaf Stripping in Ontario

Growing_Hops_Ontario_Logo_5 with shading

Leaf stripping (removing lower leaves and laterals; Figure 1) to increase air flow is a common cultural practice to manage hops downy mildew (P. humuli). Leaf stripping is performed earlier in Ontario than in other growing regions due to a shorter growing season and earlier occurrence of downy mildew.

Leaf stripping trial 2015







Figure 1: Leaf stripping (removal of lower leaves and laterals) trial on cv. Nugget at the Simcoe Research Station, Norfolk County, in 2015.

With a late start to the 2018 growing season, some cultural practices were either delayed or not performed this spring. However, with above normal temperatures in the latter part of May, many hop cultivars have responded with vigorous growth. Early and mid-season cultivars which were not pruned this spring are now reaching the point for leaf stripping to begin (if you haven’t started already). The preferred time to strip both mechanically or chemically is when the plants have reached the top wire of the trellis, however, if conditions are favourable for downy mildew (i.e. wet, humid weather), mechanical stripping should begin when the plants are at least 3 m (10′) tall. Chemical stripping (basal foliage removal) should always be performed according to the product label, which is when the bine has barked to withstand chemical application, typically once the hops reach the top wire. For more information on products registered in Canada on hops for basal foliage removal, including plant growth stage, application rates and volumes, please refer to the ‘Broadleaf Weeds, Suckers’ section of the Hops Pesticide List, 2017 on this blog.

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