11 January 2002

Frosts a boon to wild oat sprays

FROSTY winter weather should mean a tight emergence of wild oats this spring, giving growers the chance to hit the weed hard with a single, low dose herbicide application, say crop experts.

"We should have a reasonable flush of wild oats about six weeks after the frosts, which will give growers a useful early warning, so they can then decide how late they want to leave spraying to catch any tail enders," says Andy Wells of ADAS.

Current herbicide options work well at the 3-4 leaf stage of the weed, he notes. "It will be nice to identify significant populations earlier than usual." &#42

and hit them with very low rates."

Small wild oats are easier to kill than larger ones, so a low rate treatment at an early timing makes good sense, agrees Paul Varney, brand manager for Syngentas wild oat killer Topik (clodinafop). For best results use Topik with an adjuvant oil, flat fan nozzles at 100 litres/ha and fine droplets, he advises.