Early action will curb wild oats
From field evidence and spraying practice, it's likely that over 80pc of spring cereal land has a population of wild oats.
Wild oats will survive for a long time in land and it will take at least seven to eight years, at 98pc control, to reduce populations to a manageable level that can be hand-rogued.
Controlling wild oats early is the key to good control as work has shown that in thick crops (such as spring barley at stem extension) the crop can shield the smaller wild oat side tillers so that these side tillers do not receive a herbicide.
This means the wild oats' main shoot can be well controlled but the side tiller survives until harvest and returns viable wild oat seeds for next year.
Axial, Avena, Axis, Rouge, (plus Adigor), Foxtrot and Farmco Wild Oats can be used on barley and wheat, while Cheetah extra can only be used on wheat.
Try to control wild oats before stem extension but watch the intervals between broad leaf control using sulphonyl urea (SU) or hormone active ingredients and the wild oat herbicide.
The general recommendation is to observe an interval of 21 days between these two types of spray applications.
Where the wild oat herbicide is used first a seven-day interval should occur before using broad leaf herbicides (SU/hormone). In the later scenario, wild oat application can be applied from the four leaf stage of the crop.