TruFlex canola: oh, the difference a rate makes
Looking to gain more flexibility on the farm? With its flexible application window and spray rates, Bayer’s TruFlex™ canola with Roundup Ready® Technology is the perfect tool for early weed control and higher yield potential.
Herbicide tolerant (HT) canola systems are nothing new to Canadian farmers who, for decades, have been quite comfortable using them. But as farming gets busier, more flexibility in HT canola might be needed to maintain that comfort level, says Andrew Chisholm, Trait and Trait Launch Manager with Bayer.
“Farmers are very familiar with Roundup® and how to use it in Roundup Ready® systems,” says Chisholm. “But TruFlex canola is different because it gives farmers the ability to control way more weeds and to control them far earlier in the year, both of which lead to higher yield potential.”
What makes TruFlex canola different is the trait it carries. Essentially, the TruFlex canola trait increases the plant’s tolerance to Roundup, and this increased tolerance allows for a much wider application window and a wider weed spectrum.
“It’s nearly double the weed species,” says Liz Simpson, Canola Agronomic Systems Manager. “In the Roundup Ready canola systems, there are 27 labeled weed species, but with TruFlex canola, we have 51 weed species on the label. It’s a huge step up for growers who are battling tough-to-control weeds like dandelion and wild buckwheat.”
As for the wider application window, Simpson says TruFlex canola allows growers to spray from cotyledon right up to first flower when using the sequential rate. “It means growers potentially have 10 to 14 extra in-crop spray days,” she says. This kind of flexibility is particularly important as canola is an early-seeded crop and spring weather can be unpredictable. “Having those extra days takes the pressure off in terms of spray timing and having to get everything done in a narrow window.”
How to use Roundup in TruFlex canola
How does Roundup use differ in the TruFlex canola system? In a nutshell, it offers application flexibility based on weed spectrum and growing conditions. Here are the labeled application options.
Option 1 (sequential): Two in-crop applications of Roundup WeatherMAX® at 0.67 L/ac. (cotyledon to first flower).
Option 2 (single): One in-crop application of Roundup WeatherMAX® at 1.33 L/ac. (cotyledon to 6-leaf).
Chisholm points out that these are different rates to what growers are more familiar with and that it is important for growers to use the correct Roundup rates for TruFlex canola if they want the best performance.
“Early weed control is key to achieving strong stand establishment and, ultimately, high yield potential,” he says. “Ideally, you want the field to be weed free from emergence up to two-leaf, and the 0.67 litre per acre rate, applied between cotyledon and the two-leaf stage, gives farmers the best opportunity to achieve that.”
Simpson agrees that going in early with the 0.67 L/ac. rate is where yield is secured. “Keeping fields clean during that critical weed-free period is where you really start to make your yield,” she says. “If you get a second flush, want to control weeds before the crop canopies over, you can apply a second 0.67 litre rate up until first flower and have clean fields for harvest.”
Both Simpson and Chisholm stress that this late spray timing is only available when using the sequential rate. “That second application is about cleaning up any weeds that have escaped to set yourself up for a more enjoyable harvest,” says Chisholm.