Spot wild oats for spring action

Identifying overwintered wild oat populations now, whilst crops are open and before spring flushes, will enable more effective spring control strategy decisions this season.


Understanding your wild oat population now will allow better tailoring of herbicide rates and timing of treatments, along with adapting the most appropriate application techniques, advocated Syngenta Field Technical Manager, Georgina Wood.


“Knowing the species can help predict the principal timing of germination. However, you can expect a protracted emergence at any stage from early autumn, right through to late spring.”

Miss Wood advocated that where overwintered weed populations are identified, they should be targeted with Axial Pro as soon as growth recommences.


“Delaying application for longer, to wait for spring germinating wild oats, will only make the bigger weeds even harder to remove, along with the greater effect on the crop’s development, and being more competitive they will have an impact on the crop’s yield,” she warned.

Winter wild oats (Avena sterillis) are considered more challenging and require more robust herbicide strategies, compared to spring (Avena fatua). Winter wild oats may also be showing a higher potential risk for herbicide resistance, however both species can be controlled with Axial Pro, she added.


Where weeds are larger, Miss Wood reminded of the importance to maintain higher rates to achieve a complete kill and to minimise the risk of resistance developing. “The advanced built -in wetter formulation of Axial Pro is especially valuable to optimise uptake for faster action to achieve maximum control.”


She pointed out that whilst last autumn’s pre-emergence herbicide results were good where they were applied, difficult spray conditions later in the season resulted in many fields not receiving their intended treatments.


Mapping wild oat hot spots now can also give an insight into assessing winter or spring wild oat populations. Whilst they cannot be differentiated in the field until they set seed in the summer, it’s really valuable to have a reference point back to what germinated, where and when, suggests Miss Wood.


She advocates the new Syngenta scouting and digital agronomy tool, Protector, could offer growers and agronomists a step change in wild oat management, along with all weed, pest and disease decision making.

GPS tagged recording of wild oat populations, using the digital scouting tool during field walking, will provide a clear picture of problem areas, reported Miss Wood. That could enable individually customised thresholds to prioritise treatments on a field-by-field basis, or for generation of variable application maps.

“Longer term, the information recorded will be an essential part of an integrated grass weed control strategy,” she added.

Syngenta Protector is currently under detailed practical evaluation in the UK by growers and agronomists, with plans to be widely available from late spring this year.


Ryegrass controls stack up

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Learning from the successes of growers’ black-grass control programmes gives a raft of integrated cultural and herbicide strategies that can also be used to hit back at increasing ryegrass populations, advises Syngenta Technical Manager, Georgina Wood.

“Key to that success is stacking up as many of those options as is practically possible in a farm situation.”

  • Delay drilling
  • Adapt cultivations
  • Increase spring cropping
  • Grow competitive crops
  • Prioritise pre-emergence applications
  • Stack pre-em herbicides
  • Optimise treatment timing and...