Canola School: Getting to the root of herbicide injury

Although new varieties of canola can greatly reduce the chance of herbicide injury, growers may still see some evidence of it due to specific factors.

On this episode of Canola School, we are talking with Clark Brenzil, weed specialist with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, on what to be mindful of to avoid it altogether.

Relatively speaking, if growers are using newer varieties of canola and following the label on their herbicide for application, the chances of seeing herbicide injury are quite small. Brenzil says however, there are a couple ways where farmers could see signs of herbicide injury in their canola crop, one of which being herbicide carryover.

“Unfortunately, with herbicide carryover that is unexpected, that’s essentially what we’re looking at, is that the herbicide breakdown is not behaving as what we predict under normal conditions. And so that herbicide is extending its life in the soil longer than what we’d expect. I think the real key thing for producers to try and manage that is make sure they’ve got good field records so that they know what field had what on it,” shares Brenzil.

He says herbicide injury could stem from what was applied to a field even three years ago, that the current crop is, or could be, quite sensitive to. Furthermore, Brenzil outlines that you may not see that residue cause any harm the following year, especially if it’s another drought year.

“Where you’re going to see those things show up is not necessarily in another dry year. You’re gonna see it when the weather transitions from dry to wet and you start getting those big whopper rains that push down into the soil and they activate (the herbicide) and allow it to float around in the soil for the roots of the plants to take up,” says Brenzil.

Watch the full episode below and catch all of our Canola School episodes, here.