Wheat School: Timing a Pre-Harvest Glyphosate Application Right

With high fusarium levels threatening the quality of this year’s wheat crop, Peter Johnson, cereal specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, is urging farmers to take the grain off early so as to minimize the growth and spread of the disease.

That’s all good and well, say farmers, but the crop is still quite green. Can I spray it with glyphosate to speed up the dry down process? Well, yes and no. As Johnson outlines in this video, a pre-harvest glyphosate application is only safe if done once the crop has reached physiological maturity so that none of the chemical will translocate to the kernels. How do you know when the wheat is, in fact, physiologically mature? There are two indicators: stem colour and the thumbnail imprint test. Johnson walks you through both in the video below.

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