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Control of Volunteer Canola with Herbicides: Effects of Plant Growth Stage and Cold Acclimation1

Weed Science Society of America
Publication Date
  • Physics


Phenoxy herbicides are frequently used to control volunteer canola populations. However, there have been claims that poor control could be due to cold acclimation of canola plants in the spring. The objective of this study was to determine whether cold acclimation or growth stage affected the response of canola volunteers to herbicides. In a growth room experiment, canola plants were prehardened and cold acclimated or were grown at 20/12 C and treated with one of six 2,4-D doses. Cold acclimation as achieved by this experiment affected upper and lower asymptotes of the dose–response curve but not the herbicide dose required to reduce canola weight by 50% relative to the nontreated control (GR50), indicating limited cold-related effects on canola tolerance to 2,4-D. Field experiments, conducted in the provinces of Québec and Saskatchewan, examined the effects of canola growth stage on the efficacy of 2,4-D, MCPA, and carfentrazone. Comparisons of the estimates from the dose–response curves confirmed that herbicide efficacy was consistently greater when canola plants were treated at an early growth stage, regardless of cultivar or herbicide used. The GR50 estimates for canola plants treated at a later growth stage exceeded the recommended rates. Some canola plants grown as volunteers in a wheat crop survived 2,4-D or MCPA treatments at 0.5× and 1× rates and produced up to 148 seeds/m2. Efficient control of canola volunteers will be obtained when plants are sprayed at an early growth stage, but near-total control will be highly desirable in order to restrict seedbank buildup, particularly when dealing with canola cultivars with different herbicide-resistant traits. Nomenclature: Canola, Brassica napus L.; wheat, Triticum aestivum L. Additional index words: Phenoxy herbicides, 2,4-D, MCPA, carfentrazone, Brassica napus, volunteer canola. Abbreviations: CA, cold acclimated; DAE, days after emergence; GR50, herbicide dose required to reduce canola weight by 50% relative to the nontreated control; NA, nonacclimated; PAR, photosynthetic photon flux density.

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