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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.
The development of sustainable farming systems depends on our ability to predict and manage the response of weed communities to changes in cropping practices. A study was established at Normandin, Québec, Canada, to investigate the influence of liquid dairy manure and mineral fertilizer, as well as chisel and moldboard plow tillage systems, in a spring barley monoculture and a 3-yr spring barley-forage rotation that included red clover and timothy. Weed species richness (Margalef's DMG), evenness (Shannon's E), and diversity (Shannon's H') were examined in these treatments from 1992 to 1995. Nutrient source had no effect on any of the three diversity indices. Evenness values were extremely low in all years, suggesting dominance of a few weed species in most treatments. Weed species richness and diversity generally were greater in the barley-forage rotation compared with the monoculture. Tillage effects on richness and diversity varied with crop rotation. Margalef's DMG and Shannon's H' were greater in 1993 and 1995, but they were lower in 1994 when chisel was compared with moldboard plowing in the monoculture. In 1994, chickweed density was about five times greater in the chisel-plowed monoculture compared with other treatment combinations of rotation and tillage. In 1995, only one species with a density of six plants m−2 occurred in the moldboard-plowed monoculture compared with three to six species and densities of 51 to 832 plants m−2 in the other rotation by tillage treatments. Climatic conditions and herbicide use patterns in the different crop rotation treatments may have contributed to the more dynamic nature of weed species diversity in the barley monoculture. Reduced frequency of tillage and herbicide application; management of the forage stands, especially with regard to their termination; and improved soil resource availability likely explained the increased but more stable diversity of the weed communities in the barley-forage rotation.
Industry, public-sector researchers and extension agents, and growers were surveyed in 1998 to determine their perspectives on how labeling herbicides with their site of action (group number) would affect the herbicide use practices of growers. The crop protection industry in Canada represented by the Crop Protection Institute (CPI) generally supports herbicide resistance labeling but has some concerns regarding the wording of the labels, including the identification symbol. Most researchers and extension agents believe that labeling herbicides with their site of action will facilitate herbicide group rotation by growers who frequently use herbicides from the same group. Of the two-thirds of the 126 surveyed growers who were familiar with herbicide groupings, 58% practiced herbicide group rotation. Those who did not tended to lack understanding of the basis and purpose of herbicide classification. Grower responses were similar to those from the research and extension community, although only 29% of the growers who currently do not rotate herbicides from different groups believed that resistance management labeling would influence them.
The development of problematic weed populations is a concern in western Canadian fields where canola and pea are grown in a 4-yr sequence with spring cereal grains. Weed densities were examined at a site near Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada, from 1994 to 1997 in seven zero-till managed crop rotations. Four rotations that included canola, pea, or flax in at least 3 of 4 yr (HBF: high broadleaf–crop frequency) were compared with three rotations that included broadleaf crops grown in 2 of 4 yr (LBF: low broadleaf–crop frequency). Spring wheat and barley were the cereal crops in rotation. Residual (postherbicide application) weed density for each weed species in a given year was summed across all phases for each rotation to reflect the overall weed infestation. Four annual broadleaf weed species were most abundant in 1996 and a second group of three species, having a variety of reproductive strategies, became progressively less abundant as the study progressed. The difference between the HBF and LBF rotations for the density of these species varied and was most prominent in years when environmental conditions were conducive for their growth. More frequent applications of ethafluralin, with its residual weed control, best explained why wild oat and catchweed bedstraw generally were less abundant in the HBF rotations. Of particular interest was the 8 plants m−-2 greater density of dandelion and perennial sowthistle in the HBF vs. LBF rotations in the last year of the study. It is thought that the limited herbicide options for the control of these species could present a future problem if they continued to develop in the HBF rotations. Differences in herbicide use between the HBF and LBF rotations were considered the primary factor controlling the rotation effects on weed density.
MKH 6562 is a new acetolactate synthase inhibitor herbicide that would provide an alternative to control wild oat. Three experiments were conducted at Scott, SK, Canada, from 1996 to 1999 to evaluate MKH 6562 rates (20 and 30 g ai/ha), carrier volumes (30, 50, and 100 L/ha), time of applications (two- to three-leaf and three- to four-leaf stages of wild oat), and broadleaf weed herbicide tank mixtures. Reduced wild oat control (lower visual rating of percent control and higher fresh weight) often occurred when MKH 6562 was applied at a rate of 20 vs. 30 g/ha, with carrier volumes of 30 vs. 50 and 100 L/ha, and at the three- to four-leaf vs. two- to three-leaf stages of wild oat. Wild oat control generally was lower for MKH 6562 tank mixed with dicamba + mecoprop + MCPA 1:1:4.4 and bromoxynil + MCPA 1:1 compared with MKH 6562 applied alone or tank mixed with other broadleaf herbicides. MKH 6562 tank mixed with MCPA, and to a lesser extent 2,4-D, resulted in decreased wild oat control when applied at the three- to four-leaf stage of wild oat, but not at the two- to three-leaf stage. Wheat grain yield usually was not affected by MKH 6562 rate and carrier volume. Yield was 7% lower when MKH 6562 was tank mixed with dicamba + mecoprop + MCPA or fluroxypyr + 2,4-D and was 8% lower when MKH 6562 was applied in a mixture with 2,4-D formulations or bromoxynil + MCPA at the three- to four-leaf stage compared with the two- to three-leaf stage. Similar yields were achieved when MKH 6562 was applied alone at both leaf stages of wild oat. Wild oat control and wheat yield with MKH 6562 were as good as or better than with ICIA 0604 and imazamethabenz and were as good as or poorer than with CGA 184927. MKH 6562 provides adequate control of wild oat in wheat when applied early with the recommended carrier volume. Satisfactory control may be achieved with reduced rates if wild oat infestations are light.
Knowledge of optimal combinations of graminicide rate and stage of application could improve the effectiveness and net benefit of commonly used graminicides. A study was conducted at two locations in Saskatchewan, Canada, from 1994 to 1997. Factorial combinations of five graminicides (CGA 184927, fenoxaprop-p-ethyl, ICIA 0604, imazamethabenz, and flamprop-methyl), three graminicide rates (full, two-thirds, and one-third recommended label rate), and three leaf stages of wild oat (Avena fatua; two-, four-, and six-leaf) were compared to determine their effect on wild oat fresh weight, wheat (Triticum aestivum) seed yield, and net return. Wild oat fresh weight increased and wheat seed yield decreased to a greater extent at Saskatoon (median wild oat fresh weight of 56 g/m2) than at Scott (median wild oat fresh weight of 85 g/m2) when graminicide rate was reduced from the recommended label rate. Net return consistently decreased at both locations and among all graminicides when application rate was reduced from two-thirds to one-third of the recommended label rate. Imazamethabenz applied at progressively later growth stages caused greater wild oat fresh weight at both locations and reduced wheat yield and net return. Applying other graminicides at the earliest (two-leaf) stage of wild oat generally resulted in more or similar levels of wild oat fresh weight compared with delayed applications, especially at Saskatoon. With the exception of imazamethabenz, crop yield and net return were unaffected by leaf stage at both locations. The optimal graminicide rate is mostly dependent on the level of wild oat infestation, and the best time to control wild oat is dependent mostly on the particular graminicide.
Over 90% of Canadian kochia populations are resistant to acetolactate
synthase (ALS)– inhibiting herbicides. We questioned whether the target
site–based resistance could affect plant growth and competitiveness.
Homozygous F2 herbicide-resistant (HR) kochia plants with an
amino acid substitution at Trp574 (sources: Alberta [AB],
Saskatchewan [SK], and Manitoba [MB]), or Pro197 (MB, AB with two
populations) were grown in replacement series with homozygous F2
herbicide-susceptible (HS) plants from the corresponding heterogeneous
population (total: six populations). In pure stands, growth of HR plants
from AB and SK was similar to that of HS plants, regardless of mutation;
conversely, MB2-HR plants (Trp574Leu) developed more slowly and
were taller than MB2-HS plants. Final dry weight of HR plants in pure stands
was similar across all six populations, whereas that for HS plants in pure
stands and HR–HS plants in mixed stands (50–50%) varied with population.
Results for AB and SK populations suggest little impact of either ALS
mutation on kochia growth, whereas those for MB lines would suggest an
unidentified factor (or factors) affecting the HS, HR, or both biotypes. The
variable response within and between lines, and across HS biotypes
highlights the importance of including populations of various origins and
multiple susceptible controls in HR biotype studies.
Herbicide-resistant canola dominates the canola market in Canada. A multiyear field experiment was conducted at three locations to investigate the effect of time of weed removal (two-, four-, or six-leaf canola) and herbicide rate (50 or 100% recommended) in three herbicide-resistant canola systems. Weeds were controlled in glufosinate-resistant canola (GLU) with glufosinate, in glyphosate-resistant canola (GLY) with glyphosate, and in imidazolinone-resistant canola (IMI) with a 50:50 mixture of imazamox and imazethapyr. Canola yields were similar among the three canola cultivar–herbicide systems. Yields were not influenced by 50 vs. 100% herbicide rates. Timing of weed removal had the greatest effect on canola yield, with weed removal at the four-leaf stage giving the highest yields in most cases. Percent dockage was often greater for GLU and IMI than for GLY. In comparison with the other treatments, dockage levels doubled for GLU after application at 50% herbicide rates. The consistency of monocot weed control was usually greater for GLY than for GLU or IMI systems. However, weed biomass data revealed no differences in dicot weed control consistency between IMI and GLY systems. Greater dockage and weed biomass variability after weed removal at the six-leaf stage or after low herbicide rates suggests higher weed seed production, which could constrain the adoption of integrated weed management practices in subsequent years.
A survey conducted across agricultural ecoregions of Saskatchewan in 1996 revealed that wild oat (Avena fatua) populations resistant to acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACCase) inhibitors were present in approximately 10% of Saskatchewan fields (2.4 million ha). In the Aspen Parkland and Boreal Transition ecoregions, this increased to 17%. The objective of this study was to determine if agronomic practices promoted or delayed resistance and to assess producer awareness of herbicide resistance. Weed resistance and management questionnaire data from the 1996 resistance survey and management questionnaire data from the 1995 Saskatchewan weed survey were submitted to multiway frequency analysis. The frequency of occurrence of herbicide-resistant wild oat was related directly to ACCase inhibitor use. Resistance to cyclohexanedione (CHD) herbicides was not related to CHD use but to frequency of ACCase inhibitor use (i.e., CHD + aryloxyphenoxypropanoate [AOPP]), suggesting that the pressure imposed by AOPPs contributed to the selection of CHD resistance in wild oat. ACCase inhibitor use was more extensive in the Aspen Parkland and Boreal Transition ecoregions than in the Mixed and Moist Mixed Grassland ecoregions. Crop rotations were not conducive to rotation of herbicides with different sites of action. Frequency of ACCase inhibitor use increased with frequency of annual crops, in spite of the inclusion of cereal and dicot crops in the rotation. Producers utilizing conservation tillage practices in the Grassland ecoregions used proportionally more ACCase inhibitors than those using conventional tillage practices. This increase in ACCase use in conservation tillage systems did not result in an increased incidence of wild oat populations resistant to ACCase inhibitors. Producers reporting troublesome wild oat populations tended to have proportionally more ACCase-resistant wild oat. Producers who reported practicing weed sanitation were less likely to have resistant wild oat than those who were less careful. Increased awareness and implementation of management practices that will reduce the dependency on ACCase herbicides are required to better enable producers to prevent, delay, or manage herbicide-resistant wild oat populations.
Few studies report animal grazing effects on weed populations. A study was conducted to assess weed populations in annual and perennial forage grasses grazed at various intensities by cattle over a 4-yr period. The perennial forages were Bromus inermis and Bromus riparius, and the annual forages were winter Triticosecale and a mixture of Hordeum vulgare and winter Triticosecale. With few exceptions, results from the two annual pastures could be adequately described as a group, as could the results from the two perennial pastures. The two most prevalent weed species were Capsella bursa-pastoris and Taraxacum officinale; other species encountered over the course of the study were analyzed as a group. Tillage (seedbed preparation) in the annual system supported a proliferation of annual weeds in the spring. In the perennial pasture system, a lack of tillage and spring MCPA allowed T. officinale to increase as the study progressed, especially at the highest grazing intensity. In the perennial pastures, each unit increase in grazing intensity led to 51 more C. bursa-pastoris m−2 and 4 more T. officinale m−2. At lower levels of grazing intensity, C. bursa-pastoris and other species were most abundant in the annual pastures. Weed population shifts in response to grazing pressure in the annual pasture systems were restricted because of annual tillage and MCPA. Therefore, pasture managers may subject annual pastures to heavy grazing pressure with less negative weed population consequences than perennial pastures where herbicides are not applied.
A conservation tillage study provided the opportunity to test whether tillage effects on the germinable weed seedbank would be consistent across different crop rotations and to investigate the potential residual effects of herbicide treatments terminated 12 yr earlier. Our objective was to measure the effects of tillage (moldboard plow [MP] vs. chisel plow [CP] vs. no-till [NT]), crop rotation (2-yr barley–red clover followed by 4-yr barley–canola–wheat–soybean rotation, compared to a cereal monoculture), and of a prior weed management factor (three intensity levels of herbicide use) on the density, diversity, and community structure of weed seedbanks. Species richness, evenness (Shannon's E), and diversity (Shannon's H′) of spring seedbanks varied little across treatments and over time. Total seedbank density generally increased as tillage was reduced, with some variations due to weed management in 1993 and crop rotation in 2006. Crop rotations generally had smaller seedbanks with fewer species than the monoculture. In 1993, seedbanks with minimum weed management were twice as dense as those with intensive or moderate weed management (approximately 6,000 vs. 3,000 seed m−2). By 2006, seed density averaged 6,838 seed m−2 across intensive and moderate weed management regardless of tillage, but was nearly twice as large in NT (12,188 seed m−2) compared to MP (4,770 seed m−2) and CP (7,117 seed m−2) with minimum weed management (LSD0.005 = 4488). Species with abundant seedbanks responded differently to treatments. Barnyardgrass and green foxtail had larger seedbanks in the monoculture than in the rotation. Common lambsquarters and pigweed species had large seedbanks in tilled treatments in the rotation, whereas yellow foxtail and field pennycress contributed to the large seedbanks observed in NT treatments. The latter two species were also associated with residual effects of weed management treatments (terminated 12 yr earlier) in NT. The differential seedbank response of weed species, attributed in part to contrasting weed emergence patterns and agronomic practice effects on seed rain, explained some of the weak treatment effects observed for total seedbank density and diversity. The large weed seedbanks observed in NT plots after 18 yr confirms the importance of seed rain and seedbank management for the sustainability of NT systems.
Minimizing inputs such as fertilizers, herbicides, or tillage may be sought by producers to satisfy economic as well as environmental goals. One of the challenges in reducing inputs, whether synthetic fertilizers or herbicides, or substituting a synthetic nutrient with an organic source, is to identify practices that will provide optimum growing conditions for the crop while maintaining an adequate level of weed control. Our objective was to measure the cumulative effects of 12 yr of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilization treatments applied to two tillage systems [conventional tillage (CT) vs. no tillage (NT)] in a corn–soybean rotation on weed communities and crop yields. Residual (postherbicide treatment) weed species assembly was determined by multivariate analysis and was influenced mainly by tillage, with weeds more strongly associated with NT than with CT. Diversity of weed communities as measured by richness, evenness (E), and a diversity index (H′), and total weed biomass were greater for NT than for CT. Nutrient treatments had little or no effect on these parameters. Corn yields were reduced by 70% in the absence of N and by 25% in NT compared to CT treatments. Soybean yields were reduced in NT with increasing P rates compared to other treatments, but reductions never exceeded 10%. Overall, corn and soybean had different responses to treatments, with corn yields being far more affected by fertilization and tillage than soybean yields. Conversely, the absence of tillage had a much greater effect than the absence of nutrient input on weed community assembly and biomass, suggesting the importance of a weed management program specifically tailored for NT systems.
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.
The objective of this study was to examine the effects of crop rotation (spring barley monoculture vs. spring barley–red clover 2-yr rotation), tillage (moldboard plow, chisel plow, no-till), and weed management (intensive, moderate, minimum) on plant–seedbank relationships for 19 weed species. Plant and seedbank density data were collected over 4 yr and analyzed by analysis of variance and correlation analysis to confirm treatment effects on plant–seedbank relationships. The relative frequency (difference between aboveground and seedbank frequency) of many species was more influenced by rotation, whereas species density appeared regulated more by weed management than by other factors. Frequency data confirmed that very few species were ubiquitous over time or treatment, aboveground or in the seedbank. The perennial species, field horsetail, quackgrass, white clover, and perennial sowthistle were more frequent aboveground than in the seedbank. This was also observed for annuals such as common hempnettle, sun spurge, catchweed bedstraw, and annual grasses. Treatment effects on abundance were inconsistent aboveground and in the seedbank across time for 12 of 19 species. The seven species that showed more consistent treatment response for abundance were frequent species present in 50% of the plots both aboveground and in the seedbank. For most species, plant density was correlated with either the previous or current year seedbank, but correlations were rarely of the same magnitude and significance over the years. Common chickweed was the only species for which treatment effects on the plant–seedbank relationship were confirmed for all 4 yr. Correlations between midseason plant populations and subsequent seedbanks confirmed the role of residual populations in replenishing the seedbanks, including those of perennials like quackgrass and dandelion. Overall, plant–seedbank relationships were tenuous for many weed species and varied over time with cropping practices and environment.
Phenoxy herbicides are frequently used to control volunteer canola populations. However, there have been claims that poor control could be due to cold acclimation of canola plants in the spring. The objective of this study was to determine whether cold acclimation or growth stage affected the response of canola volunteers to herbicides. In a growth room experiment, canola plants were prehardened and cold acclimated or were grown at 20/12 C and treated with one of six 2,4-D doses. Cold acclimation as achieved by this experiment affected upper and lower asymptotes of the dose–response curve but not the herbicide dose required to reduce canola weight by 50% relative to the nontreated control (GR50), indicating limited cold-related effects on canola tolerance to 2,4-D. Field experiments, conducted in the provinces of Québec and Saskatchewan, examined the effects of canola growth stage on the efficacy of 2,4-D, MCPA, and carfentrazone. Comparisons of the estimates from the dose–response curves confirmed that herbicide efficacy was consistently greater when canola plants were treated at an early growth stage, regardless of cultivar or herbicide used. The GR50 estimates for canola plants treated at a later growth stage exceeded the recommended rates. Some canola plants grown as volunteers in a wheat crop survived 2,4-D or MCPA treatments at 0.5× and 1× rates and produced up to 148 seeds/m2. Efficient control of canola volunteers will be obtained when plants are sprayed at an early growth stage, but near-total control will be highly desirable in order to restrict seedbank buildup, particularly when dealing with canola cultivars with different herbicide-resistant traits.
Alfalfa seed producers have a limited number of herbicide options to manage weed problems. MON-37500 (proposed name sulfosulfuron) is a sulfonylurea herbicide that controls dandelion and quackgrass, two common weeds in alfalfa fields. A study was conducted in two alfalfa fields at Valparaiso and Carrot River, Saskatchewan, Canada, from 1999 to 2001 to evaluate perennial weed control and alfalfa production responses with 0.5×, 1×, and 1.5× label-recommended rates of MON-37500 and also 2,4-DB and hexazinone. MON-37500 applied at the 1× and 1.5× rates at both locations reduced mid-May alfalfa vigor from 100% to between 80 and 90% and increased early-season control of dandelion and quackgrass by about 10 to 40 percentage units, when compared with other herbicide treatments. Improved weed control with 1× and 1.5× MON-37500 rates was sustained into mid-June only at Carrot River and was completely eliminated (100% vigor and 0% weed control), or almost so, by mid-July. MON-37500 did not control Canada thistle. Improved early-season weed control with the 1× MON-37500 rate apparently compensated for the loss of alfalfa vigor at Valparaiso, thus resulting in 27% (57 kg/ha) greater seed yield than with the other herbicide treatments. At Carrot River, hexazinone generally provided levels of weed control similar to MON-37500 but did not injure alfalfa. Consequently, alfalfa yields were highest and the proportion of dead (decaying) seed was least with this treatment. The 0.5× MON-37500 rate often resulted in inferior weed control relative to the 1× and 1.5× rates and never was among the herbicide treatments providing the greatest seed yield. Managing the residual activity of MON-37500 and its negative effect on alfalfa growth, especially at locations with soils having coarse texture and low organic matter content, represents the greatest challenge in making MON-37500 a reliable weed management tool for alfalfa seed producers.
Crop rotations, particularly those that include legumes, often result in improved soil quality and crop yields. A study was conducted to confirm the presence and persistence of the residual effects of crop rotation and weed management on a test crop and weeds in three tillage systems (moldboard plow [MP]; chisel plow [CP]; no tillage [NT]). Rotation (spring barley monoculture and spring barley–red clover rotation) and weed management (intensive, moderate, minimum) treatments, initiated in 1987, were terminated, and a test crop of spring wheat was grown in 1995 and 1996. Tillage treatments were maintained throughout. Multivariate analysis showed that weed communities were more affected by treatment termination in the rotation NT treatment with minimum weed management than in all other treatments. The former treatment was dominated by perennial broadleaf weeds but sustained adequate wheat yields (3.3 Mg ha−1) compared with the monoculture (1.0 Mg ha−1) one year after termination. Weed communities in CP and MP plots were less affected by treatment termination. Yet, changes in herbicide use at termination caused the virtual elimination of quackgrass from tilled plots and allowed field pennycress to become ubiquitous across treatments. Residual effects from crop rotation were more important than those from weed management in increasing wheat yields in tilled systems. Differences in wheat yield in NT systems 2 yr after treatment termination were attributed to residual effects from previous weed management rather than from crop rotation. Beneficial effects of crop rotation and weed management may persist for 2 yr but will vary according to tillage system.
Early weed removal in canola gives the crop a competitive advantage over weeds and is therefore widely recommended for optimal crop production, but no studies have been undertaken previously to determine the effect of this practice on insect infestations. Four field experiments were conducted at Lacombe and Beaverlodge, AB, Canada, in 1999–2001 for a total of 10 site-years to determine the effect of time of weed removal on root maggot (Delia spp.) egg deposition and larval damage to taproots. The experiments also investigated the effects of other factors such as cultivar, seeding date, herbicide application rate, fertilizer rate and placement, and use of a nitrification inhibitor on root maggot damage and oviposition. Damage to taproots and oviposition declined by approximately 6 and 23%, respectively, with a delay in weed removal from the two- to six-leaf stage of canola development. The effect of time of weed removal on root maggot damage and egg density sometimes varied with site and cultivar, but the main effect of time of weed removal was more prominent (smaller P values) than interactions with site. The most plausible explanation for this effect relates to the behavioral sequence of events that precedes oviposition in mated, gravid female flies. Heterogeneous environments, such as weedy backgrounds in canola plantings, minimize opportunities for females of Delia spp. to complete the behavioral sequence required for oviposition, leading to reduced infestation levels in weedy systems. However, yield improvements achieved with early weed removal exceeded the yield benefit derived by lowered root maggot pressure when weeds were removed later. Nevertheless, current efforts to reduce pesticide use in agriculture may promote broader adoption of cultural control strategies for weed and root maggot management. In some situations, it may then be appropriate to ameliorate root maggot damage by maintaining some weedy background.
A 3-yr study was conducted in Wheatland County, Alberta to determine if agronomic practices of growers influenced the occurrence of herbicide resistance in wild oat. Wild oat seeds were collected in 33 fields in 1997 and in 31 fields in each of 1998 and 1999 (one field per grower). Seedlings were screened for resistance to two acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACCase) inhibitors, imazamethabenz, an acetolactate synthase (ALS) inhibitor, and triallate, a thiocarbamate herbicide. A questionnaire on herbicide resistance awareness and management practices was completed by each grower. Both ACCase and ALS inhibitor resistance in wild oat were linked to a lack of crop rotation diversity. In addition, ALS inhibitor–resistant wild oat was associated with conservation-tillage systems and recent use of herbicides with that mode of action. Results of this study suggest that timely tillage and inclusion of fall-seeded and perennial forage crops in rotations will effectively slow the selection of resistance in this grass species.
Wild oat (Avena fatua) control often is an integral management practice in cropping systems that include cereal crops. Experiments were conducted at two locations in Saskatchewan (Saskatoon and Scott), Canada, from 1994 to 1997 to determine the influence of ICIA 0604 rate (50, 100, 150, and 200 g ai/ha), water volume (30, 50, and 100 L/ha), spray mixture pH (unbuffered, close to pH 7.0; reduced, pH 4.0), late morning and evening application times, and sodium bicarbonate concentration of water source (Saskatoon water, negligible; Scott water, 695 mg/L) on wild oat fresh weight and wheat (Triticum aestivum) grain yield. Reducing ICIA 0604 rate below the recommended label rate (200 g/ha) increased wild oat fresh weight by 22% and decreased wheat grain yield by 7% when applied with 50 or 100 L/ha of water. Applications with 30 L/ha of water resulted in more wild oat growth (19%) and less wheat yield (6%), regardless of the ICIA 0604 rates. Spray mixture pH or time of application did not modify the effects of ICIA 0604 rate and water volume on wild oat fresh weight and wheat yield at Saskatoon. At Scott, the negative effects of ICIA 0604 rates lower than 200 g/ha applied with 50 or 100 L/ha of water were most apparent when applications were made in the morning, especially with an unbuffered spray mixture. ICIA 0604 applications made in the evening with 50 or 100 L/ha of water resulted in the lowest wild oat fresh weights and greatest wheat yields, regardless of the ICIA 0604 rate or spray mixture pH. Antagonism between sodium bicarbonate in the unbuffered water from Scott, as indicated by the spray mixture pH effect, and the time of application effect were important factors controlling treatment responses at Scott. Lower than recommended ICIA 0604 rates often maintained net returns, even though wheat yield responded negatively to reduced ICIA 0604 rates. Understanding the effects of water quality on wild oat control will allow producers to make prudent decisions regarding the optimal application parameters for ICIA 0604.