Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Pounce on wild-oats with Polecat

With reports of spring-germinating wild-oats showing up in wheat, growers are being advised to plan which fields would need an herbicide application later on this spring, according to Stewart Woodhead, Technical Manager, Interfarm UK Ltd.

“With the economic threshold being just 1 plant every 2 square metres, growers should be prepared to apply a post-emergence herbicide when weed emergence is complete. Spring germination of wild-oats started this spring around the end of March. So there is time for the rest to emerge before applying a contact herbicide, but this year crops are more advanced than normal, with one third of the area at stem extension at the end of March. 
So balancing full wild-oat emergence with crop canopy closing will be something that needs careful managing. Good coverage is important. A new formulation of the popular foliar-acting herbicide fenoxaprop-p, Polecat is recognised as being a very effective post-emergence grass-weed herbicide, particularly on wild-oats,” explains Stewart.

“Polecat is a new product for us, containing 69 g/l of fenoxaprop-p as an oil in water emulsion. It is recommended at a dose rate of 0.8 l/ha plus an appropriate adjuvant for wild-oats up to Growth Stage 23, or 1 l/ha plus adjuvant for wild-oats up to Growth Stage 30 or 1.2 l/ha plus adjuvant for weeds up to GS 39. So the dose rate can be varied according to weed size,” he advises.  As well as wild-oats, Polecat has good activity on rough-meadow-grass and awned canary grass from two leaves up to Growth Stage 30 of the weed.  “It can also be mixed with many broad-leaved weed herbicides to tidy up on weed control. Polecat has excellent crop safety and no LERAP.

He warns growers not to overlook wild-oats as they are the most competitive annual grass-weed in cereals.  “This is because they have a very similar growth habit to cereals, yet can grow even larger, competing for moisture and nutrients as well as shading out the crop. Wild-oats also contaminate grain and are costly to remove. They can act as hosts for some damaging viruses, insect pests and nematodes. Do not ignore wild-oats, especially in such as season as this when many crops look to have good yield potential,” says Stewart Woodhead.