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Take back control with TruFlex canola
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Take back control with TruFlex canola

Oct 29, 2020

"In 2019, we saw up to four stages of canola in more than one field," says Liz Simpson, Canola Agronomic Systems Manager with Bayer CropScience.

No farmer wants to see something like that but getting the spray timing right in canola isn't always easy – particularly when erratic weather leads to uneven crop growth. "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," says Simpson.

Closeup of Canola flower

TruFlex canola with Roundup Ready® Technology solves that problem by giving farmers more options for spray rates and timing, and that means better 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 rather than a calendar date."

He stresses that this not the same old Roundup Ready technology by another name. Both Chisholm and Simpson say there are three key differences between the existing Roundup Ready canola systems and TruFlex canola with Roundup Ready Technology, and these differences are what makes it is a more powerful tool for farmers.

1. Superior weed control. The TruFlex canola system not only provides more effective weed control, but its flexibility also allows for 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."

The TruFlex canola system gives farmers a more powerful tool against weeds that have been difficult to control in earlier Roundup Ready systems. Take dandelion, for example. "In regular Roundup Ready canola, dandelion is on the label but for suppression only," she says. "The higher overall application rates in the TruFlex canola system help enable season-long dandelion control."

In fact, the TruFlex canola system is capable of delivering better control of other tough weeds, such as wild buckwheat, cleavers and foxtail barley.

2. 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.

Chisholm says that farmers can spray right up to first flower* when using the sequential rate. "This option extends the spray window by 10 to 14 days over Roundup Ready systems," he says.

Optimal timing for the first application is between cotyledon and two-leaf. This timing helps maintain the critical weed-free period, setting the crop up for the best start possible start to maximize yield potential. The second application can be made right up to first flower to control any late flushing weeds if needed.

Farmers also have the option of a one-time application of Roundup WeatherMAX at the higher 1.33 L/ac. rate, which can be applied 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."

3. Greater yield potential. Yield potential is a major deciding factor when choosing a canola variety to grow and, for this factor alone, 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. The TruFlex canola system incorporates a higher application rate of Roundup WeatherMAX compared to older Roundup Ready canola systems. 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 the ability to achieve truly effective early weed control is what sets the TruFlex canola system apart in terms of yield potential.

"Early weed control is an incredibly powerful driver of crop yield," says Simpson. "The TruFlex canola system gives growers a unique opportunity to keep canola fields really clean through the first two weeks of crop establishment. That's the critical weed-free period and it's where yield potential is secured. The things like this that you do early in the season can make all the difference to yield come harvest."

Boiled down to its essence, the TruFlex canola system simply offers canola growers more opportunities to directly 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 other canola systems and it means you can base your spray decisions on what's happening in your fields rather than where you are in a particular month."

Simpson agrees. "It's been a long time since Roundup rates and timing have changed in a canola system," she says. "TruFlex canola is a truly new way to grow canola."

*First flower is when 50% of the plants in the field have no more than one flower.