So you’ve heard the terms ‘Roundup Ready’ and ‘Truflex’. And you know they have something to do with safely applying glyphosate to the crop.
But how do they work, and what do they mean?
What do Roundup Ready and TruFlex canola have to do with glyphosate?
Typically, glyphosate works by blocking the production of the EPSPS enzyme in susceptible plants. That EPSPS enzyme is essential for the production of amino acids, which are the building blocks for proteins in the plant, and without those, the plant dies.
Bayer has utilized gene technology to insert two new genes into canola plants which make them tolerant to applications of glyphosate. They named these canola plants as Roundup Ready.
Truflex canola is an example of Bayer’s second-generation weed control trait. The Truflex trait allows extended application windows and use of more robust rates of glyphosate, giving growers greater flexibility. They have been able to do this by building on the same gene mentioned above by enhancing gene expression with a new promoter sequence.
So what does this mean for you?
With the Roundup Ready technology, you can apply two applications of a registered glyphosate product up until the six-leaf stage of the canola. However, the new Truflex canola will give you greater flexibility with your applications, allowing more significant rates of glyphosate and an extended spray window – all the way out to first flower.
Both of these enable you to have better weed control and crop safety, which potentially mean higher yields at harvest time. It also means you potentially don’t have any residual herbicide issues to deal with, giving you more crop rotation benefits.
What glyphosate can I use?
We will be stocking Nufarm’s Crucial, which is a 600g/L triple salt, triple surfactant glyphosate and is registered to be applied over these canola varieties. In fact, Crucial has the widest range of registrations on the market.
For Roundup Ready varieties, Crucial must be applied only from crop emergence to 6 leaf stage, with a maximum of two applications of 1L/ha at least 14 days apart.
The Truflex varieties are a little different. You can apply two applications up to 1.5L/ha, or three applications of 1L/ha, and this can be done from crop emergence to first flowering, again needing to be at least 14 days between applications.
What about this ‘PodGuard’ term, what is that?
The last bit of technology you should know about is PodGuard from BASF. PodGuard is currently only available on very limited varieties including InVigor R4022P – which has a very limited supply – and InVigor R5520P, a later variety. Both are Roundup Ready varieties. The PodGuard technology strengthens the pod and minimizes loss to pod shatter.
Other feedback about this technology is that there is a yield improvement in some other varieties and that it reduces loss during ripening time, especially in rainy or windy conditions. It will give you more flexibility of windrow timing, as it can be done at 90% colour change and a higher oil content with longer ripening. There are some great videos for explaining the PodGuard technology on the BASF Seed website.