After a long winter, spring has arrived. If you’re a canola producer, there are numerous ways to position yourself for a productive growing season, but a critical step is getting an early grip on pre-seed weed control.
A pre-seed herbicide application can help you start the season off right and set your crops up for high yields by controlling the spring- and winter-annual weeds that can rob the soil of nutrients and moisture. It’s also a great opportunity to enhance weed control with multi-mode of action control. Picking the right partner for glyphosate will increase the effectiveness of your pre-seed burndown.
Mark Johns, a technical sales agronomist with Corteva Agriscience, says combining glyphosate with an effective tank-mix additive boosts performance and provides more complete control than glyphosate alone. Using different modes of action in your tank mix will also reduce the risk of herbicide resistance.
The best time to control weeds in the spring is when they’re young and actively growing. That’s why Mark Nisbet, the cereal herbicides product manager with Corteva Agriscience, also recommends canola producers scout their fields early and often to determine when to spray before seeding.
“In general, it’s a good practice, whether it’s pre-seed or in-crop, to go out and see what weeds are in the field to help determine what product you should be using and when to apply it,” Nisbet says.
For any herbicide application, Nisbet adds farmers need to ensure they always read and follow the label and use the recommended application rates found on the label.
Calm days are recommended for herbicide applications to prevent herbicide drift, and generally, warm conditions are more favourable for a spring burndown while adverse or cool conditions leading up to seeding are not.
It’s recommended that farmers avoid applying glyphosate in cooler weather, but farmers like Ron Pederson, a canola producer in Camrose, Alta., know this isn’t always practical.
“In the spring, we can get some cold conditions, which isn’t ideal for a burnoff,” Pederson says. “Sometimes we have no choice on when to spray then, but I still believe the weeds need to be actively growing so we can get the contact on them that we need.”
For his pre-seed burndown this spring, Pederson plans to add Prospect, a new canola pre-seed herbicide from Corteva Agriscience that’s being introduced to western Canadian farmers this year, to his glyphosate application.
Pederson was one of 55 western Canadian canola producers who field tested Prospect for Corteva Agriscience last year. He was also among the 77 per cent of participants who rated Prospect’s weed control performance as excellent, after the herbicide did a “tremendous job” of knocking down problem cleavers on his farm.
“It just flattened them,” he says.
Prospect contains both Group 4 and Group 14 active ingredients, so when it is tank mixed with glyphosate, this delivers three different modes of action control. This will not only delay the onset of herbicide resistance but also provide more complete control than glyphosate alone.
Prospect can help manage tough-to-control weeds including cleavers (both overwintered and Group 2-resistant biotypes), hemp-nettle, narrow-leaved hawk’s beard, dandelion and many more.
According to Nisbet, Prospect provides canola producers with more flexibility when weather conditions aren’t ideal for a pre-seed application. Arylex active, a Group 4 active, is robust and works well under a wide range of conditions, he says.
“Typically, with Arylex active, you will be able to cover a wider range of weed stages, even in cool or dry conditions,” Nisbet adds. “This helps provide farmers with added flexibility when conditions are not ideal, and time is of the essence.
Prospect can also be applied with five to 10 gallons of spray water volume per acre without giving up performance in weed control. Nisbet says this allows farmers to save time when hauling water and loading the sprayer.