Wild oats stop at the EVEREST<sup>®</sup> 2.0 line in the field

Wild oats stop at the EVEREST® 2.0 line in the field

Big difference in side-by-side trial in Saskatchewan.

It took some patience to explain, Doug Scorgie recalls, as he answered questions last July and August about why he’d “forgotten” to spray half the field.

“Quite a few neighbours asked about it. So I sent them to the other end of the field to look at the signs. All signs for the trial were at the east end of the field. At the west end, there was no notification,” he says. 

Scorgie farms 2,700 acres of wheat, barley and canola near Meota in northwest Saskatchewan. The mile-long, quarter section trial in hard red spring wheat was initiated by Arysta LifeScience and coordinated by Greg Frey, station manager for Cavalier Agrow, an independent retailer at Meota.

It was the virtual line in the field that stopped the neighbours. On one side, the crop was very clean. On the other side, the crop was mostly under a cover of wild oats.

Even Scorgie was surprised.

“We could see a definite line between the two products. It was very clear,” he says. “I really didn’t think I’d see that big a difference.”

Side-by-side trial success

Cavalier Agrow does approximately 200 field scale trials each year. They are visual, side-by-side and are taken to yield in most cases. For this trial, a lot of detail data was recorded.  It was the first Everest® 2.0 side-by-side trial with measured data in northwest Saskatchewan.

“We’re keen on knowing how products work in our area and our conditions,” Frey says. “We did this trial because we do have confirmed Group 1-resistant wild oats in the area, and we suspect it in this field.”

Frey also intended to produce a reliable, local comparison of Group 1 and Group 2 wild oat herbicide performance.  

He adds, “We wanted a true quantitative comparison between two wild oat products. We sprayed 80 acres with Everest 2.0 on one side, and 80 acres with Axial, a competitor, on the other side.”

Axial is a popular, recommended and trusted Group 1 wild oat herbicide.

The wheat was seeded May 16 in a field with moderate to heavy wild oat pressure. The field also has cleavers, millet and some quackgrass, plus the broadleaf weeds wild buckwheat, cleavers, lamb’s-quarters and stinkweed at moderate to low levels.

Scorgie sprayed on June 16 -- a nice morning, warm, with little to no wind. He started with a full tank at the mid-point, and did one side. He refilled, returned, and did the other side. He avoided overlapping and doubling.

Six days later, early signs of uptake were visible. Visible activity was about 5 to 7 percent. At 14 days, the impact was dramatic.

“We really started to see differences cropping up, side-by-side,” Frey says.

“In the Everest 2.0 area, the wild oats were smaller. Everest 2.0 was pausing the wild oats; they were starting to shrink down. On the competitor’s side, the wild oats were growing yet.”

“At 14 days, we had 65 percent control on the Everest 2.0 side, and 43 percent on the competitor’s side,” Frey says.

“At 23 days, on the competitor’s side, the wild oats were starting to head out. On the Everest 2.0 side, the wild oats were dying down.

“At 28 days, we had 85 (with Everest 2.0) versus 39 percent control.

“At 56 days, wild oats were fully headed on the competitor’s side. The Everest 2.0 side was very clean. Some wild oats came up after the application, in the bottom of the canopy, and you could see the Group 2 activity on those wild oats. They were either controlled or severely stunted; they never did head out,” Frey says.

Relief of wild-oat pressure

Most of the direct-seeded farm has a two-year wheat-canola rotation.

Scorgie relies on his retailer for weed control advice. He has used the Group 1 product, or a generic version of it, for a long time. For a couple of years now, the retailer has advised him to use a Group 2 product to ensure a proper herbicide rotation.

“We expect some tolerant oats,” Scorgie says. “A couple always come up late, or don’t get hit hard enough, but I realize now that we’ve probably been spraying the same group too often. Even I was moderately surprised by this result.” 

“I think we are seeing the tip of the iceberg,” Frey says. “From what I’ve seen, I’m very confident that we have a greater level of Group 1 resistant wild oats than growers believe. Group 1 resistance isn’t high enough yet that they’ve had a wreck. Instead, they’ve been gradually expecting a little less out of their wild oat products.”

What the neighbours were responding to, when they saw the line between the two treatment areas, was the difference between a near ‘wreck’ and successful control.

Frey says, “My belief is that we’re going to find there’s a significant amount of Group 1 wild oat resistance in this field. That speaks to why we were using Everest 2.0 for this trial.”

This trial was important for the retailer for three reasons. He says:

“For us, the extremely important feature is that Everest 2.0 gives a Group 2 rotational option away from Group 1 herbicides traditionally used for wild oat and green foxtail control in our cereal crops.

“Second, the new Everest 2.0 is a very safe product. As a liquid product it has better safeners, so we’ve been very happy with the crop safety aspect.”

“Third, it has activity on flushing wild oats and green foxtail. We are happy with the Everest 2.0 flushing control on wild oats, and the control on green foxtail is even greater,” he says.

“For us, the extremely important feature is that Everest 2.0 gives a Group 2 rotational option away from Group 1 herbicides traditionally used for wild oat and green foxtail control in our cereal crops.