Tips for Drying Down a Tall Pulse Crop

A taller than normal pulse crop in Western Canada this year could require a different approach for managing drydown.

“This year we do have pulse crops that are enormous,” notes Rob Klewchuck, technical lead for Western Canada with Syngenta, in the video below.

With tall plants and thick canopies, a desiccant like diquat (eg. Reglone Ion) likely won’t reach the bottom leaves of a lentil or pea crop.

“If you have knee high lentils, there’s no way you can apply a contact product with a lot of water volume down to the bottom, so what we recommend is spraying those with glyphosate to kill those plants, and then four or five days later you follow up with diquat, it dries down that plant totally,” he says.

To determine timing, assess lentil, pea and chickpea plants in thirds. The bottom pods should be translucent, with the seed detached and rattling. The middle pods should crack open with no juice and colour change underway. The top pods should split nicely, but may still be immature, leaving the grower to decide whether to wait for them to ripen, notes Klewchuk.

High water volumes and application in low light conditions in the evening are also recommended for maximizing diquat coverage.

“It allows the product to spread around on the leaf surface during the evening and night. When the sun hits the next morning, the diquat enters the cells, bursts the cells, the moisture is released and drydown commences,” he explains.

Syngenta’s Rob Klewchuk explains how to protect lentil and pea yield and quality using diquat:

Related: Tips for Pre-harvest Glyphosate and Desiccation

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