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Appropriate Crop Seeding Rate When Herbicide Rate is Reduced

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Ken J. Kirkland
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, RR #1, Vermilion, AB, Canada T9X 1Y6
F.A. Holm*
Department of Plant Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, 51 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 5A8
F. Craig Stevenson
206A Dunlop Street, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 2B7
Corresponding author's E-mail:


A study was conducted at three locations in Saskatchewan, Canada, in 1996 and 1997 to determine if increasing the seeding rate of wheat, barley, and lentil by 50% would maintain weed control and crop yield when herbicides are applied at reduced rates or not at all. Three herbicide rates (½ of full, ¾ of full, and full recommended label rate), along with an untreated check, two crop seeding rates (normally recommended and 1.5 times normally recommended rates), and three crops were tested. Increasing seeding rate did not affect weed fresh weights, crop yield, and net return responses to herbicides applied at reduced rates or not at all when averaged across crops, years, and locations. Increased seeding rate, independent of the different herbicide applications, had infrequent and inconsistent effects among the crop by year by location combinations. More broadleaf and grass weed growth, less crop yield, and lower net returns generally occurred when herbicides were not applied or applied at reduced rates. These trends were especially prominent when herbicides were not applied to cereal crops at Saskatoon (40% yield reduction) and when herbicides were applied at ½ the full label rate rather than higher herbicide rates to wheat at the other two locations (16% yield reduction). In 1996, lentil yield and net returns did not respond to herbicide application and rate because of poor grass weed control across all herbicide rates. Lentil yield and net returns decreased by 11% (full vs. ¾), 22% (¾ vs. ½), and 46% (½ vs. none) when herbicides were applied at progressively lower rates in 1997. Reduced herbicide rates did not affect net returns for cereal crops, indicating that herbicide rates lower than the full label rate may be economically viable in certain crops.

Research Article
Copyright © Weed Science Society of America 

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