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Canola - cleavers and kochia

Taking charge of kochia and cleavers in canola

Number one canola tip - control kochia and cleavers early

 

Application timing is a critical factor in controlling both kochia and cleavers, but achieving top results requires an understanding of each weeds’ growth patterns.

Manage cleavers from day one

Cleavers need to be managed from day one, regardless of season.

In canola, research from the University of Saskatchewan indicates cleavers emerge right after the crop is planted, frequently growing to a size which can’t be managed by in-crop herbicides alone. This is particularly true when the in-crop application window is limited to the two-whorl or four-whorl stage.

Bad weather and late harvests can also delay or prevent herbicide applications in the fall – another part of the year when cleavers like to emerge. Weeds emerging at this time have more time to grow the following spring, making them even harder to control. High moisture conditions during in-crop herbicide applications, too, only make things worse.

The most effective way to get early, extended control is to apply a combined pre-seeding burnoff and residual herbicide application – the former taking care of larger cleavers which emerged the previous year, with the latter preventing spring emergence once activated by rain.

A combined approach to kochia

Kochia is another notorious early germinator. Unlike cleavers, however, the weed is rather short-lived. That might sound like a positive, but in reality, it means the plant grows rapidly once emerged. With 30,000 seeds per plant and the ability to spread them over a kilometre in all directions, it’s not a weed you want to miss.

But like it’s fellow conspirator cleavers, well-timed early season control can make an enormous difference.

Kochia is an early germinator which can withstand a variety of herbicides if given time to grow. Pre-seed burnoff applications, however, make this a non-issue. And like the plant as a whole, kochia seeds are themselves short-lived. That means the right herbicide program – combined with other management strategies such as patch mowing, precision tillage, using a weed crusher on the combine, and good rotation practices – can really reduce its seed bank.

With the right approach, kochia seed banks can be largely eliminated in as little as one or two years.

Tackle resistance head-on

For herbicide programs specifically, tank-mixing at least two effective modes of action is critical in the face of resistance pressure. For suspected glyphosate (Group 9) resistance, the pre-seed period is the easiest time to tank mix products containing two additional modes of action.

Herbicide resistance is a reality for many, and a growing concern. But that doesn’t mean we have to abandon beneficial technologies like Roundup Ready® crops. With good scouting and rotation practices, plus a proactive herbicide application program, top-notch management is very achievable.

Watch for resistance. Watch the weather. Time your application right, and neither kochia nor cleavers will be a bother.

That’s why FMC offers Command Charge herbicide. It’s designed to take on tough weeds like kochia and cleavers early, while providing control of flushing cleavers weeks after seeding.

 

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