Getting the spray timing right in canola isn’t always easy, particularly when erratic weather leads to uneven crop growth.
“Last year, we saw up to four stages of canola in more than one field,” says Liz Simpson, Canola Agronomic Systems Manager with Bayer Canada. “There are a limited number of spray windows for canola, and if you miss them, or push them too far in terms of plant staging, you can end up with some pretty bad weed problems and that affects yield.”
TruFlex™ canola with Roundup Ready® Technology solves that problem by giving farmers more options for spray rates and timing, leading to greater weed control and higher yield potential.
“The TruFlex canola trait allows for a much wider application window and control of a wider spectrum of weeds,” says Andrew Chisholm, Trait and Trait Launch Manager with Bayer. “This enables farmers to make spray decisions based on what’s actually happening in their fields.”
But is this just the same old Roundup Ready technology by another name? Chisholm and Simpson say absolutely not and outline the three key differences between the existing Roundup Ready canola systems and TruFlex canola with Roundup Ready Technology and why it is a more powerful tool for farmers.
Superior weed control
The flexibility of the new system not only provides more effective weed control, but also control of more weeds. “The older Roundup Ready canola systems have about 27 weeds on the label,” says Simpson. “TruFlex canola has nearly double that with 51 weed species on the label.”
She says the TruFlex canola system gives farmers a more powerful tool against weeds that have been difficult to control in previous Roundup Ready systems. “Dandelion is a good example,” she says. “In regular Roundup Ready canola, dandelion is on the label but for suppression only. The higher overall application rates in the TruFlex canola system help to enable season-long dandelion control.”
Indeed, the TruFlex canola system is capable of delivering much better and longer control of other tough weeds, such as wild buckwheat, cleavers and foxtail barley.
Greater flexibility in spray rates and timing
The TruFlex canola system gives farmers a choice between two sequential applications of Roundup WeatherMAX® at 0.67 L/ac., or one in-crop application at 1.33 L/ac.
“Farmers can spray right up to first flower* when using the sequential rate,” says Chisholm, adding this option extends the spray window by 10 to 14 days over other Roundup Ready systems.
The optimal timing for that first application is between cotyledon and two-leaf. This sets the crop up for the best start possible, maintaining the critical weed-free period that’s key to maximizing yield potential. The second application can be made up to first flower to control any late flushing weeds if needed.
Farmers also have the option to spray Roundup WeatherMAX once at the higher 1.33 L/ac. rate up to the six-leaf stage. “This is the rate and timing to use if weather has delayed you getting into the field and the weeds are getting pretty big and the crop is getting close to the three- or four-leaf stage,” says Chisholm. “The flexibility of the system allows farmers to choose the rate and application timing that works best for the weed challenges they’re seeing on their farms.”
Greater yield potential
No one will argue that yield potential is a major deciding factor when choosing canola varieties for the farm and here, Simpson urges growers to check out the new TruFlex canola hybrids. “Our newest and best genetics are going into this system,” she says.
The TruFlex canola trait protects yield in another way, too – crop safety. Compared to older Roundup Ready canola systems, the TruFlex canola system actually incorporates a higher application rate of Roundup WeatherMAX. It means that, when used within the recommended application windows, you won’t suffer the yield penalty that can occur by spraying off-label in the older systems.
But for Simpson, it’s the ability to achieve truly effective early weed control that sets the TruFlex canola system apart in terms of yield potential.
“I want farmers to really understand how powerful early weed control is when it comes to yield,” she says. “The TruFlex canola system gives growers a unique opportunity to keep canola fields really clean for the first two weeks of crop establishment. That critical weed-free period is where yield potential is secured and it’s things like this that you do early in the season that can make all the difference to yield at the end of the season.”
Both Simpson and Chisholm say the TruFlex canola system offers canola growers more opportunities to influence the success of their crop.
“The flexibility in spray rates and timing is unique to TruFlex canola,” says Chisholm. “You can’t find that kind of freedom with any other canola system and it means you can base your spray decisions on what’s happening in your fields rather than just on the calendar.”
Simpson agrees. “It’s been a long time since Roundup rates and timing have changed in a canola system. TruFlex canola is a truly new way to grow canola.”
For more information about TruFlex canola, visit the Bayer Traits website.
*First flower is when 50% of the plants in the field have no more than one flower.