Skip to main content Accessibility help

Suitability of Wild Oat (Avena fatua), False Cleavers (Galium spurium), and Volunteer Canola (Brassica napus) for Harvest Weed Seed Control in Western Canada

  • Breanne D. Tidemann (a1), Linda M. Hall (a1), K. Neil Harker (a2), Hugh J. Beckie (a3), Eric N. Johnson (a4) and F. Craig Stevenson (a5)...


As chemical management options for weeds become increasingly limited due to selection for herbicide resistance, investigation of additional nonchemical tools becomes necessary. Harvest weed seed control (HWSC) is a methodology of weed management that targets and destroys weed seeds that are otherwise dispersed by harvesters following threshing. It is not known whether problem weeds in western Canada retain their seeds in sufficient quantities until harvest at a height suitable for collection. A study was conducted at three sites over 2 yr to determine whether retention and height criteria were met by wild oat, false cleavers, and volunteer canola. Wild oat consistently shed seeds early, but seed retention was variable, averaging 56% at the time of wheat swathing, with continued losses until direct harvest of wheat and fababean. The majority of retained seeds were >45 cm above ground level, suitable for collection. Cleavers seed retention was highly variable by site-year, but generally greater than wild oat. The majority of seed was retained >15 cm above ground level and would be considered collectable. Canola seed typically had >95% retention, with the majority of seed retained >15 cm above ground level. The suitability ranking of the species for management with HWSC was canola>cleavers>wild oat. Efficacy of HWSC systems in western Canada will depend on the target species and site- and year-specific environmental conditions.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author’s E-mail:


Hide All

Associate Editor for this paper: Carlene Chase, University of Florida.



Hide All
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (2016) 2015 Annual Review of Agroclimate Conditions across Canada. Ottawa, Canada: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada National Agroclimate Information Service. 24 p
Ashworth, MB, Walsh, MJ, Flower, KC, Vila-Aiub, MM, Powles, SB (2015) Directional selection for flowering time leads to adaptive evolution in Raphanus raphanistrum (wild radish). Evol Appl 9:619629
Barroso, J, Navarrete, L, Sanchez De Arco, MJ, Fernandez-Quintanilla, C, Utman, PJW, Perry, NH, Hull, RI (2006) Dispersal of Avena fatua and Avena sterilis patches by natural dissemination, soil tillage and combine harvesters. Weed Res 46:118128
Beckie, HJ, Blackshaw, RE, Low, R, Hall, LM, Sauder, CA, Martin, S, Brandt, RN, Shirriff, SW (2013a) Glyphosate- and acetolactate synthase inhibitor–resistant kochia (Kochia scoparia) in western Canada. Weed Sci 61:310318
Beckie, HJ, Francis, A, Hall, LM (2012) The biology of Canadian weeds. 27. Avena fatua L. (updated). Can J Plant Sci 92:13291357
Beckie, HJ, Lozinski, C, Shirriff, S, Brenzil, C (2013b) Herbicide-resistant weeds in the Canadian Prairies: 2007–2011. Weed Technol 27:171183
Beckie, HJ, Warwick, SI, Nair, H, Seguin-Swartz, G (2003) Gene flow in commercial fields of herbicide-resistant canola (Brassica napus). Ecol Appl 13:12761294
Burton, NR, Beckie, HJ, Willenborg, CJ, Shirtliffe, SJ, Schoenau, JJ, Johnson, EN (2016) Evaluating seed shatter of economically important weed species. Weed Sci 64:673682
Cavalieri, A, Harker, KN, Hall, LM, Willenborg, CJ, Haile, TA, Shirtliffe, SJ, Gulden, RH (2016) Evaluation of the causes of on-farm harvest losses in canola in the Northern Great Plains. Crop Sci 56:20052015
Cutforth, HW, McConkey, BG (1997) Stubble height effects on microclimate, yield and water use efficiency of spring wheat grown in a semiarid climate on the Canadian Prairies. Can J Plant Sci 77:359366
Hall, L, Topinka, K, Huffman, J, Davis, L, Good, A (2000) Pollen flow between herbicide-resistant Brassica napus is the cause of multiple-resistant B. napus volunteers. Weed Sci 48:688694
Harker, KN (2001) Survey of yield losses due to weeds in central Alberta. Can J Plant Sci 81:339342
Harper, JL (1977) Population Biology of Plants. New York: Academic. 892 p
Heap, I (2017) The International Survey of Herbicide Resistant Weeds. Accessed: February 23, 2017
Leeson, JY (2016) Saskatchewan Weed Survey of Cereal, Oilseed and Pulse Crops in 2014 and 2015. Saskatoon, SK: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. 356 p
Leeson, JY, Thomas, AG, Hall, LM, Brenzil, CA, Andrews, T, Brown, KR, Van Acker, RC (2005) Prairie Weed Surveys of Cereal, Oilseed and Pulse Crops from the 1970s to the 2000s. Saskatoon, SK: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. 395 p
Littel, RC, Stroup, WW, Freund, RJ (2002) SAS for Linear Models. 4th edn. Cary, NC: SAS Institute. 466 p
Malik, N, Vanden Born, WV (1988) The biology of Canadian weeds: 86. Galium aparine L. and Galium spurium L. Can J Plant Sci 68:481499
Mangin, AR, Hall, LM, Beckie, HJ (2016) Triallate-resistant wild oat (Avena fatua L.): unexpected resistance to pyroxasulfone and sulfentrazone. Can J Plant Sci 97:2025
McMaster, GS, Aiken, RM, Nielsen, DC (2000) Optimizing wheat harvest cutting height for harvest efficiency and soil and water conservation. Agron J 92:11041108
Petzold, K (1956) Combine-harvesting and weeds. J Agric Eng Res 1:178181
SAS Institute (1995) SAS Procedures Guide. 3rd edn. Version 6. Cary, NC: SAS Institute. Pp 617634
Sawma, JT, Mohler, CL (2002) Evaluating seed viability by an unimbibed seed crush test in comparison with the tetrazolium test. Weed Technol 16:781786
Shirtliffe, SJ, Entz, MH (2005) Chaff collection reduces seed dispersal of wild oat (Avena fatua) by a combine harvester. Weed Sci 53:465470
Shirtliffe, SJ, Entz, MH, Van Acker, RC (2000) Avena fatua development and seed shatter as related to thermal time. Weed Sci 48:555560
Špokas, L, Steponavičius, D (2010) Impact of wheat stubble height on combine technological parameters. J Food Agric Environ 8:464468
Tidemann, BD, Hall, LM, Harker, KN, Alexander, BCS (2016) Identifying critical control points in the wild oat (Avena fatua) life cycle and the potential effects of harvest weed-seed control. Weed Sci 64:463473
Ullrich, SD, Buyer, JS, Cavigelli, MA, Seidel, R, Teasdale, JR (2011) Weed seed persistence and microbial abundance in long-term organic and conventional cropping systems. Weed Sci 59:202209
Walsh, M, Newman, P (2007) Burning narrow windrows for weed seed destruction. Field Crops Res 104:2430
Walsh, M, Newman, P, Powles, S (2013) Targeting weed seeds in-crop: a new weed control paradigm for global agriculture. Weed Technol 27:431436
Walsh, MJ, Broster, JC, Aves, C, Powles, SB (2016) Influence of annual ryegrass seed retention height on harvest weed seed control (HWSC) and harvest efficiency. Pages 42–45 in Proceedings of the Twentieth Australasian Weeds Conference. Perth, Australia: Council of Australasian Weed Societies
Walsh, MJ, Harrington, RB, Powles, SB (2012) Harrington seed destructor: a new nonchemical weed control tool for global grain crops. Crop Sci 52:13431347
Walsh, MJ, Powles, SB (2007) Management strategies for herbicide-resistant weed populations in Australian dryland crop production systems. Weed Technol 21:332338
Walsh, MJ, Powles, SB (2014) High seed retention at maturity of annual weeds infesting crop fields highlights the potential for harvest weed seed control. Weed Technol 28:486493


Type Description Title
Supplementary materials

Tidemann et al supplementary material
Tables S1-S3

 Word (33 KB)
33 KB


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed