Targeting wild oat applications in the spring can be challenging for sprayer operators, but Syngenta’s application specialist, Harry Fordham, said that the wide application window for treatment using Axial Pro gave more flexibility of control.

This, he said, presents a range of scenarios for differing weed and crop sizes in the spring. Small grass weeds can also be difficult targets to hit and retain spray on the leaf, he pointed out, adding that research and application trials at Syngenta Innovation Sites identified three key factors in wild oat control:

• Timing

• Application

• Product formulation

Mr Fordham said hitting weeds early, to effectively remove competition before it has time to impact on the crop was a positive factor. He advised that Axial Pro can be used from crop Growth Stage 11 (first leaf unfolded), right through to GS 39 (flag leaf emerged). “At the early spring application timing, both the crop and the weeds are typically still small and the target is exposed and easy to hit,” he said.

“However, there is the chance that not all the spring seeds will have germinated and later weeds could still emerge. If application is delayed and the crop goes into stem extension, wild oats can be shielded by the larger crop and become more difficult to target with spray droplets.

“Where treatment is left until the crop is at flag leaf, the larger target wild oats are again easier to hit, but they could have already seriously impacted on yield.” Herbicide application rates should always be tailored to the largest weeds in the crop, he said.

For early treatment, he advised the best application tips were to use the angled Syngenta 3D nozzle with a water volume of 100 l/ha. However, as the crop gets larger, he suggested a switch to an Amistar nozzle, again applying 100 l/ha water volume, to better target weeds in the canopy.

He added: “An effective formulation will help with retention on the leaf; wetting of the surface and penetration of herbicide into the leaf. The new all-in-one- formulation of Axial Pro has been designed to optimise all of these elements and makes it faster to use.”