Heat and glyphosate vs Reglone in straight-cut canola

The canola we’re growing in Western Canada today is different from the varieties we grew 10 years ago. The plants are maturing later in the season because we’re picking genetics with the highest yield potential. Seed companies are also breeding varieties suited to straight cutting: plants with lots of branching and thick stalks that stand up for the combine. It’s for these reasons I find myself encouraging growers to apply a pre-harvest aid in their canola. If they can move up their harvest dates and dry down the crop evenly, they can avoid the risk of frost and combine faster.

Here is what I’m recommending to canola growers in my region.


Apply Reglone® Ion on your clean, high-potential fields


When you see good yield potential in your canola, you want to get that crop off. Reglone Ion dries down green plant matter so you can move your harvest dates up by 3-5 days. It’s a way to reduce the risk that the weather will downgrade the crop before you have a chance to combine it.

We had a really strange fall last year. At the end of September, some areas of Western Canada received a record snowfall for the month. The canola that hadn’t been combined was buried in snow, and some growers had to harvest in the spring. It was a horrible experience for many families.

If you have some really beautiful canola fields, or a lot of your farm is seeded to canola, you may want to invest in a pre-harvest application of Reglone Ion. The price point of Reglone has come down in recent years, so it often makes financial sense to invest in a desiccant application rather than risk losing yield or quality to bad weather.

Another advantage of Reglone Ion is harvestability. Combines can have a hard time chewing up a big, strong, shatter-resistant canola variety, but after an application of Reglone Ion, it will combine like butter. You can use a faster ground speed with less clogging.

Here are a few tips on applying a desiccant:

-        Wait until 90% of the seeds in the field have turned brown. Desiccants lock in existing maturity.

-        Desiccants are contact products and require sufficient coverage to penetrate the canopy – use a water volume of 15-20 gals (ground) or 4 gals (aerial) per acre for the best success

-        If you don’t already have tracks in your field, it may be worth the extra investment to make an aerial application.

-        Only spray what you can combine. After applying Reglone Ion, combine as soon as the crop is ready. Don’t wait longer than seven days.

-        Only apply Reglone Ion if there are 5-7 days of good weather ahead. If there’s a chance of rain, it would be better to apply a tank mix of Heat® LQ and glyphosate.

-        Use a desiccant on your clean fields, as it doesn’t have systemic activity on weeds.


Apply a tank mix of Heat® LQ and glyphosate in your weedy fields


With the hot, dry weather we’ve had the last two weeks, the crop is turning, but weeds are still growing actively. If there’s a lot of kochia or pigweed in your canola field, consider a pre-harvest tank mix of Heat® LQ with glyphosate. We’re discouraging people from spraying glyphosate alone, as the risk of herbicide resistance is higher kochia, and the highest rate you can apply before running into residue issues at the elevator is 0.67 L/acre. To make sure weeds don’t survive, add Heat LQ to the tank.

This spring, I was able to walk some fields that had received a pre-harvest application of Heat LQ and glyphosate. They were significantly cleaner than fields that didn’t.

Heat also has some dry down effects, so you can combine earlier than you would with a naturally ripened crop. Apply the tank mix of Heat LQ and glyphosate at 60-75% brown seed, and then combine 10-12 days later when the crop reaches 10% moisture.

Whichever pre-harvest solution is right for you, I encourage you to get your products onto the farm. If the weather changes and you need to make a last-minute decision one evening, you’ve got everything you need to get out spray, and you don’t need to run to the elevator.


Always read and follow label directions.

Reglone® is a registered trademark of a Syngenta Group Company.

Heat® is a registered trademark of BASF.

Kira Durston

Kira enjoys working with producers to solve whatever challenges that they may be experiencing in the field. She has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from McGill University and carries her P.Ag and CCA designations as well as her certificate in 4R Nutrient Planning from Fertilizer Canada. In her career, she has worked in many sectors of the industry including research with the Plant Science Department of McGill University, Pulse Grading, and manual labour. This will be her fifth year working with Cargill. Kira enjoys working alongside producers to find appropriate solutions for their specific needs, hosting agronomic information sessions in the field, and trialing new products that are coming to market. You can follow Kira on Twitter @kiradirtson where she's helping solve life's problems one canola field at a time.

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