Friday, October 2, 2015


Wild oats continue to be the number one problematic grassy weed across the Prairies, but there’s a new front-runner for the second place, especially for canola growers.

Foxtail barley. How has this relatively uncompetitive, short-lived perennial weed become such a major problem across Western Canada in such a short time frame?

Foxtail barley spreads only through seed, and has a shallow root system and a very poor seed survival rate when buried deeper than 7.5 centimetres, making conventional tillage an effective control method. So again, why is this weed becoming such a big concern?

The answer is two-fold:

1. Most growers have adopted a minimum tillage practice which favours the establishment of this weed, and

2. foxtail barley continues to be one of those scavenger-like weeds that thrives in adverse growing conditions.


Also known as wild barley, skunk-grass and squirrel-tail, this weed thrives in the areas where other plants don’t regularly flourish: the ditches, the sloughs and other low areas with poor soil quality and high salinity.

In addition to alkaline soil conditions, recent increases in precipitation over the last four years in Western Canada has left the door open to foxtail barley to gain a massive foothold in Western Canada.

But there’s hope.


Centurion® is now a registered as a tank-mix partner with Liberty® to control foxtail barley in your canola. For more information, please visit

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