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Wet weather in spring 2011 enabled invasive weeds like wild oat, green and yellow foxtail and kochia to thrive, threatening cereal crops across the Northern Plains and Pacific Northwest. Many growers were able to overcome these challenges through a weed control program that included Axial® Star or Sierra™ herbicide, two 2011 additions to the Syngenta cereals herbicide portfolio that will play a role across many acres in 2012, too.
Weed control
“I was worried about yellow foxtail and kochia this year," said Colfax, N.D., wheat grower Jeff Olson.  “When I spoke to my dealer, he recommended that I apply Axial Star. I had used Axial brand herbicides in the past, which have proven to be successful, and the same was true for Axial Star."
Axial Star serves as the foundation for an effective weed control program, helping to solve the complexity of weed management in spring wheat, winter wheat and barley. “It did exactly what I needed it to, and that was to kill the weeds," Olson continued.
Greg Weber, an Idaho wheat grower, explained, “We decided to try Axial Star because we had catchweed bedstraw pressure in our spring wheat, and it provided great control. We applied Axial Star with a broadleaf herbicide tank-mix partner at the past jointing stage. The level of pressure at the time of application was very high, but within a month, the weeds had died, and the field had cleaned up nicely."
Wheat grower Matt Carlson of Cleveland, N.D., was in need of a new mode of action in his rotation to combat resistant weeds. “We were targeting several grasses, including wild oat, cheatgrass and both yellow and green foxtails. We had resistance issues with other herbicides in the past, but it wasn’t a problem with Sierra; it killed them. I believe the different mode of action played a big role in that," Carlson reported.
Sierra helps growers manage the complexity of weed control in cereals by controlling the toughest weeds, providing a new resistance management tool and offering customized weed control solutions for each field.
Crop safety
Crop safety also factored in to many growers’ herbicide decisions, especially in years like 2011 that saw adverse weather conditions. Axial Star has first-rate crop safety and a wide application window, which is especially important when rainfall delays application.
“Axial Star proved to be a safe herbicide to my crop, and I didn’t see any negative impact to my crop yield or quality," Olson reported. “I plan to use Axial Star again in the future, and I would strongly encourage others in my area to give it a try. It covered every need that I had."
Weber also reported excellent crop safety with Axial Star and was pleased with the wide application window. “Conditions prevented a timely application, so weeds were thick and large, but we didn’t see any crop injury."
Crop safety is also a strength of Sierra, as it contains built-in safener technology. “My experience with Sierra was very positive. I didn’t have any concerns with crop safety, and its performance proved to be superior to other herbicides I’ve used in the past. I definitely plan on applying it again in the future and would tell others to try it," Carlson said.
2012 weed management
As growers head to the fields this spring, they will likely find that the mild winter conditions have caused weeds to get a jump start on the season. Getting these weeds under control will be a crucial first step. As the season progresses, it will be just as critical to time herbicide applications to keep weeds from competing with the crop. As growers develop their weed management game plan, they can count on the Syngenta herbicide portfolio of Axial brands, Sierra, new Foxfire™ herbicide for the Northern Plains and others to keep weeds out of their wheat and barley fields and profits in their pockets.
Important: Always read and follow all bag tag and label instructions before buying or using Syngenta products. The instructions contain important conditions of sale, including limitations of warranty and remedy. All products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties.  Please check with your state or local extension service before buying or using Syngenta products. Foxfire is registered for use only in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.
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