Wild oat killer adds options for Prairie wheat growers

A new Group 2 herbicide molecule is being put to work on its own in a product to give Prairie wheat growers an option against wild oats.

Varro was launched Thursday by Bayer CropScience Canada for use only in the four western provinces, in spring wheat, winter wheat and durum crops.

The new graminicide is billed as giving wheat growers the ability to fight Group 1-resistant wild oats without limits on what they can seed in their rotations the following season.

"With Varro, growers can now battle Group 1-resistant wild oats and be able to plant a pulse crop the following year, which is an important option to have, especially for our customers in the brown soil zones," Lauren Davis, Bayer’s cereal grass herbicide manager in Calgary, said in a release.

Varro’s active ingredient is thiencarbazone-methyl, which until now has been used as a partner with other actives in recently-released Bayer products, including Thumper Total and Velocity m3 for wheat growers in Western Canada only, and Vios G3 for Roundup Ready and LibertyLink corn growers in Ontario and Quebec only.

Among other weeds to be controlled on Varro’s label are cleavers, green foxtail, barnyard grass, wild mustard, hemp-nettle and volunteer canola.

Noting Varro’s "excellent crop safety on wheat," Bayer added Thursday that Varro can be tank-mixed with certain broadleaf herbicides to target specific weeds.

Approved tank mix partners for use in both spring wheat and durum wheat, for instance, include Bayer’s Buctril M and Thumper, as well as 2,4-D ester and MCPA ester.

"Wheat growers now have access to a Group 2 grassy weed control solution that offers more wild oat control options in the face of serious Group 1 resistance concerns," Davis said.

Ag input retailers who handle Bayer products are now accepting bookings for Varro, the company said Thursday.

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