Thursday, 16 August 2018 04:39

Scentless Chamomile makes invasive appearance in Kyle

Written by  Andrea Carol
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Driving down a prairie road in Southwest Saskatchewan is beautiful.

Wild flowers and prairie grasses line the ditches and go for miles until it meets up with the beautiful Saskatchewan sky. But beware, some of the beautiful wild flowers that line the ditches are not wild flowers at all but are weeds that have the potential for serious infestation.
Scentless Chamomile has been spotted in multiple areas including the Town of Kyle. This noxious weed has been rapidly spreading throughout the prairies. It is included on the Government of Saskatchewan’s Noxious and Nuisance Weeds List.
Wherever it appears, it has the potential to develop into a serious and persistent weed problem. It’s ability to spread and survive makes it one of Saskatchewan farmers weed enemies.
“We’ve spotted it in a few places. We are just making people aware so that if they see it, they know what it is. It’s on the Noxious Weeds list,” said Karla Marshall, Kyle Town Administrator. “We put the information out there so people could see what it looks like and to let people know if they see it around town, it needs to be dug up and bagged.”
“Being that it is a prohibited weed, it’s the landowners responsibility to get it under control as soon as possible. There is some right in Kyle and I’ve seen it in other towns too,” said Casey Rempel, Town Councillor. “You have to hand pick it and dispose of it.”
The weed prefers moist, disturbed areas. It appears in areas such as roadsides, ditches, around grain storage facilities, implement parking areas and farmyards and is easily spread due to it producing a large number of seeds that spread quickly. If it is not controlled, it can quickly become a farmers worst weed nightmare.
To prevent outbreaks and problems with this weed, steps must be taken to prevent the spread of Scentless Chamomile. Mowing, swathing and hand-weeding are the best ways to reduce seed production and spreading. In areas that can’t be tilled or mowed, the weeds must be pulled or cut with a weed whip. Weeds should then be collected, contained in garbage bags and burned in a controlled area where wind and water will not spread the seed.
Scentless Chamomile that survives control attempts will compete with crops.
The weed is also known as mayweed, scentless mayweed or daisy, is distinguished by its white daisy-like flowers and its finely divided fern-like leaves.
The flowers are solitary at the ends of smooth, erect or semi-erect branches and measure 2 to 3 cm in diameter.
Some facts about Scentless Chamomile seed are:
• A single plant can produce as many as a million seeds.
• In a dense stand, as many as 1.8 million seeds/m2 may be produced.
• One flower head can have as many as 300 seeds.
• The seeds develop quickly. Seed is viable as soon as the flower is formed.
• Biennial and short-lived perennial forms set seed as early as mid-June.
• Flowering and seed production are best under high light intensity.
• The ribs on the small, light seed allow for ready spread by wind and water.
• The seed can float for at least 12 hours.
• As much as 26 per cent of seed fed to cattle remains viable in the manure.
For information regarding Noxious Weeds, please go to the Government of Saskatchewan’s Noxious and Nuisance Weeds List by going to: publications.

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