Tolerance of Roundup Ready corn to a tankmix of Roundup plus MCPA for the control of field horsetail

Principal Investigator

Peter Sikkema

Research Institution

University of Guelph

Project Start

March 2012

Project End

February 2015

Objectives

  • Determine the tolerance of Roundup Ready corn to a tankmix of Roundup plus MCPA.
  • Determine the most efficacious herbicides for the control of field horsetail in corn.

Impact

  • The determination of the best stage to apply a tankmix of Roundup plus MCPA in Roundup Ready corn infested with field horsetail allows the producer to have good weed management with minimal crop injury.
  • The determination that Broadstrike RC + MCPA provided good control of field horsetail in corn will allow a producer to have greater weed control options when managing field horsetail in corn.

Scientific Summary

Disclaimer: The information presented here does not constitute a recommendation by the researcher or Grain Farmers of Ontario. Always read and follow the pesticide label before use. Always ensure that you have the most current label.

Field horsetail (Equisetum arvense L.) is a competitive weed that is found in various regions of Canada. Field horsetail was historically found in undisturbed areas such as meadows, river banks, fencerows and; however, in recent years has moved into fertile grain fields as it has adapted to current agronomic practices. Field horsetail can grow to a height of 80 cm but is normally around 30 to 40 cm tall. Significant yield losses have been reported in corn with heavy field horsetail stands that can reach densities of 400 shoots per meter. Field horsetail due to its extensive and deep rhizomes cannot be adequately controlled with annual tillage as these practices only cut off the top growth. For each individual grower that has field horsetail in one or more fields, its presence can result in dramatic yield and monetary losses if cost-effective control measures are not identified. Ultim (group 2; nicosulfuron/rimsulfuron), Broadstrike RC (group 2; flumetsulam) and MCPA amine are postemergence (POST) applied registered herbicides in field corn that may have potential to control field horsetail applied alone or in combination.

This study investigated increasing doses of MCPA post-emergence at the V2 (4-leaf) and V6 (8-leaf) stages of corn. MCPA amine is a desirable compliment to the current weed management programs in glyphosate-resistant maize. There is little information on the sensitivity of glyphosate-resistant maize to glyphosate plus MCPA amine applied POST at various doses and application timings under Ontario environmental conditions. Determining the appropriate MCPA amine dose and application timing will help maize growers avoid crop injury and associated yield loss and provide an additional option for control of troublesome, glyphosate tolerant weeds such as field horsetail. The results indicate that the tolerance of corn to MCPA is application timing dependent and that corn is far more sensitive to MCPA as application timing is delayed and as the rate of MCPA is increased. MCPA applied postemergence provided 66% control of field horsetail in corn, while Broadstrike applied post-emergence provided 50% control. The application of either of these herbicides alone did not provide acceptable control of field horsetail. In contrast, the tankmix of MCPA plus Broadstrike applied post-emergence provided 83% control of field horsetail in corn.

Effect of herbicide-fungicide tankmixes on winter wheat injury and yield 2012-2015

Principal Investigator

Peter Sikkema

Research Institution

University of Guelph

Project Start

March 2012

Project End

February 2015

Objectives

  • Identify herbicide-fungicide tankmixes that cause visible injury to winter wheat.
  • Determine the impact of herbicide-fungicide tank mixtures on winter wheat yield and moisture content.
  • Develop recommendations regarding safe herbicide-fungicide tank mixtures for Ontario winter wheat growers.

Impact

  • The validation that there is an adequate margin of crop safety in wheat to the POST application of three new herbicides – Refine M, Trophy and Peak + Pardner – allows farmers to have more options for weed management.
  • The validation that it is safe to apply a herbicide (Refine M, Trophy and Peak + Pardner) with a fungicide (Twinline, Stratego, Quilt and Acapela) for weed and disease control in one-pass will allow farmers to use an integrated option that will provide control of weeds and diseases and improve crop production efficiency.

Scientific Summary

Disclaimer: The information presented here does not constitute a recommendation by the researcher or Grain Farmers of Ontario. Always read and follow the pesticide label before use. Always ensure that you have the most current label.

Weed control and disease management are two management considerations in winter wheat production. For weed management, growers often use postemergence (POST) application herbicides for the control of grass and broadleaf weeds in winter wheat. For disease management, growers often use single or multiple POST applications of fungicides such as Twinline, Stratego, Quilt and Acapela. Although application timing of these POST herbicides and fungicides often coincides, currently, no combination of herbicide and fungicide are labelled for use in winter wheat grown in Ontario. Co-application of POST herbicides with fungicides would allow growers to reduce the number of passes through the field, reduce fuel and labor costs, wear and tear on machinery, soil compaction, as well as mechanical damage to the crop. There are no published data on the effect of co-application of Puma Advance, Peak + Pardner and Trophy with Twinline, Stratego, Quilt and Acapela on winter wheat under Ontario environmental conditions. In addition, information on compatibility of these herbicides with fungicides is very important to winter wheat growers as incompatibility in the tank can result in significant crop and equipment damage as well as reduction in weed and disease control. More research is needed to identify herbicides and fungicides tankmixes that provide consistent control of problem weeds and diseases while providing adequate margin of crop safety in winter wheat.

The objective of this research was to determine if the addition of Twinline, Stratego, Quilt and Acapela to Puma Advance, Peak + Pardner and Trophy results in an increase injury and a decrease in winter wheat height and yield. Three new herbicides (Refine M, Trophy and Peak + Pardner) were evaluated in combination with four fungicides (Twinline, Stratego, Quilt and Acapela) at six field studies at the Ridgetown Campus of University of Guelph, Ridgetown, Ontario in 2012, 2013 and 2014 (two trials each year). A non-treated control was included for comparison. Estimates of crop injury were evaluated on a scale of 0 to 100% at 1, 2, 4 and 8 weeks after treatment (WAT). At 7 days after treatment, there was minimal visible crop injury of 1.7, 0.25 and 0.5% with Refine M, Trophy and Peak + Pardner, respectively. Similarly, the fungicides, Twinline, Stratego, Quilt and Acapela caused 0.0, 0.3, 0.3 and 0.5% visible crop injury, respectively. The level of wheat injury with the herbicide/fungicide combinations did not increase appreciably. The injury observed decreased was transient with no visible crop injury at 28 and 56 days after application. The herbicide, fungicide and herbicide/fungicide combinations did not have an appreciable effect on winter wheat height, maturity (as indicated by moisture content at harvest) or yield in these studies. Based on these results, herbicides and fungicides at the rates evaluated can be tankmixed if co-application of herbicides and a fungicide is desired. The combination of herbicides and fungicides could provide winter wheat growers with an integrated option that will provide control of weeds and diseases and improve crop production efficiency.

Precision agriculture and intensive production systems

Principal Investigator

Tony Balkwill

Research Institution

NithField Advanced Agronomy

Project Start

March 2012

Project End

February 2016

Objectives

  • Compare traditional potash (K; potassium) applications with two precision agriculture systems of variable rate based K applications: 1) based on 2.5 acre GPS grid samples, targeting a certain ppm’s soil test level; and 2) based on the previous yield or crop removal amounts, not looking at soil test results.
  • Investigate the economics of the different fertility applications methods of K.
  • Determine if the increase in cost and time of precision agriculture system variable rate K have an increase in return (e.g. measure the performance of precision agriculture system).

Impact

  • The determination whether advanced application systems have an increased return on investment (ROI) when applying nutrients to fields in an acre specific manner will allow farmers to be more efficient in their use of potash (K) fertilizer.
  • The improved understanding of soil systems and soil fertility will allow researchers to determine if the prescription using variable rate fertilizer are environmentally responsible and applying the right rate to the right area.

Scientific Summary

Precision Agriculture has come to be a very broad word used to describe many technological advances in agriculture. We have seen the adaptation of technology in agriculture grow over the years. As implementation and understanding have developed with farmers other retail industries have directed agronomic practices to target this new skill set. Historically fields were farmed as a whole. We can now target areas within each field to address the specific needs of those regions. We can measure the economics and environmental changes more and more accurately every season. Currently we see the technology being very easy to work with and widely available. However there is a gap in bridging old practices into these new precise systems. Many recommendations don’t take in effect the ability technology has, so the risk to growers is using precision agronomics like variable rate fertilizer and have no way of knowing if the “prescription” for their field is correct.

This research project investigated Variably Controlled Agronomic Precision options currently available for variable rate fertilizer prescriptions of Potassium compared to conventional one rate approaches. The project also looked at methods and procedures to utilize yield maps into management decisions. The goal of the study was to learn the outcome, challenges and results of variable rate fertilizer application methods. With the completion of the research project we uncovered some key information needed when building and or using “prescription K applications.” Firstly, the recommendations were based off of old “one rate” programs. We see quite quickly that if you’re using just the ppm of a soil test to get recommendations they would not the right rate needed for that area of the farm. We noticed with the prescriptions we were applying way too much to certain soils and not enough to others. Some of the outcomes were very significant in a few areas. Firstly, we determined that Variable Rate potash applications need to be based on both cation exchange capacity (CEC) and ppm K test to see both economic and fertility return. Secondly, the crop removal variable rate application, which takes no soil test data into account, is specific to not only crops (soybeans, wheat, corn) but also is specific to varieties and cultivars. That is, certain genetic lines seemed to use more K as luxury consumption, etc. This was an observation and was not tested fully in the trial. Further works need to validate this result. Moving forward with more large scale field sized research will be the foundation to understand the true economics, environmental and sustainability of intensive agriculture. We can’t learn precision agronomics in small plot research systems. They need to capture large scale field variability and equipment utilization. This will be the challenge in our local industry, shifting out of historical research ideas into a new area of study that will have some unknown challenges of its own to work through, but also the uptake and development of newer technologies need to be measured and understood. Technology will be the answer to efficient sustainably farming, but without careful invested research it could quickly develop into a problem.