Farmers in southern Alberta have been worried about the growth of weeds, and the possibility of them turning into a pest.
The B.C. Ministry of Agriculture said it’s been working with farmers to address the issue and is now reviewing how the province deals with the weeds.
Farmers are concerned that if weeds are allowed to take over their fields, the weeds will eventually become invasive, said Bill Fournier, a farmer in B.B.C.’s southern community of Abbotsford.
Farmers and their families have to be vigilant about taking out weeds that threaten crops, Fourner said.
“The longer it’s allowed to grow, the more of a problem it becomes.
It’s just one of those things that’s got to be managed and controlled.”
Fourniers’ farm, which has been growing potatoes and beans for decades, has been dealing with the issue since at least 2008.
He said weeds on his property are the biggest problem.
“I’m constantly seeing the growth in the weeds,” Fournies said.
His farm has been spraying and controlling the weeds, but Fourners said he’s still worried about how it will affect his crop.
“It’s always the same.
I see the weeds coming, and then I see it getting bigger,” he said.
The province said it is not currently aware of any instances where weeds have caused damage or destroyed crops.
The ministry said it has taken steps to help ensure the province is not over-estimating the threat of weed growth and has been testing crops, monitoring soil, and identifying weeds that can be killed.
In 2016, the province approved an application for a weed control pilot program that will involve a variety of farmers, including Fournyer.
Fournie said the province should not be surprised if weeds on farmland are increasing in number.
“There are always people that will say, ‘Oh, that’s the weeds.’
I’m just hoping the government is aware of that and taking steps to mitigate it.”
The province has not yet determined if the weed control program will help to limit the growth.
Founiers said the ministry should do more to identify the weeds and address the risks.
“How do you get rid of weeds that aren’t coming out?
There are ways you can do that, but we’re not doing that yet,” he explained.
Foul matted plants that are growing in the fields around the farm could pose a threat, Faunier said.