Farm Ireland

Monday 24 July 2017

Tackling that wild oats menace

WILD oats are a problem in most tillage fields and chemical control is the only option for reliable control. Growers need to achieve a minimum of 98pc control each year to reduce populations of wild oats in the field.

Control of wild oats in 2009 was generally quite good. However, some growers did notice small heads peeping above the crop later in the season. The cause of this was partial control of the plant where the main shoot was controlled but the entire plant was not killed. This allowed side tillers to develop and produce viable seeds which added to the seed bank. Factors contributing to this partial control include: timing, weather around the time of application, crop density, water volumes used and insufficient herbicide rates.

Good control is achieved when the wild oat is actively growing and when sufficient chemical is applied to the plant. If you have a problem controlling wild oats, target the application earlier with a good water rate, sufficient chemical (generally 2/3 of full rate will control a wild oat plant before stem extension) and target to apply during good growing conditions.

Control wild oats in spring wheat with Puma Extra, Cheetah Super, Axial or Topik. All of these products can be used from the two-leaf stage to flag-leaf stage of the crop. Reduced rates (1/2 rates) can be used when applied early, ie before the end of tillering.

There are two products to control wild oats in spring barley; Axial and Puma Extra.

Irish Independent