The dos and don'ts of controlling wild oats
* Similar to broad-leaved weed control, wild oats need to be growing for the herbicide to work well.
* Good coverage is essential to get the herbicide into the wild oat to control the entire plant. Where this is not achieved the main shoot can be controlled.
* Control wild oats early (GS 30) before they start competing with the cereal crop. It is easier to get the herbicide onto the wild oat in an open crop rather than trying to push the spray through a dense leaf canopy.
* Remember to also control wild oats in break crops such as oilseeds or beans. Control in the break crop should form a part of the overall control strategy, but it is often forgotten about. The result is that a huge volume of seed is returned to the soil, thus restarting the control clock.
* Research has shown that a lower water application rate of 100-150l/ha, along with keeping the boom height to 0.5m from the crop, results in better control of wild oats. Before trying lower water rates check you have suitable nozzles and the suitability of these nozzles for herbicide application.
* Don't spot treat a bad patch of wild oats. It is difficult, if not impossible, to get good enough coverage of wild oat populations in a field area by patch spraying. It is often the case that the area left untreated can be impossible to rouge by hand due to the sheer numbers of plants, thus creating a new infection area.