Goal 2XL herbicide research project on hybrid poplar at the Conservation Learning Centre, Prince Albert
Van Oosten, C.
Effective weed control is essential in establishing hybrid poplar grown in afforestation systems in Saskatchewan. Few registered herbicides are currently available for use in hybrid poplar crops, although there are several registered for use in shelterbelts. Goal 2XL is a herbicide registered for hybrid poplar crop use in the United States. The Poplar Council of Canada initiated a research project to gather data necessary for application for herbicide Minor Use Registration of Goal 2XL in Canada. The project was carried in four locations in Canada; two projects in Ontario, one in Saskatchewan and one in Alberta. The use registrations for Goal 2XL in the United States are for rates of 0.5 and 1.0 kg ai/ha. The decision was to use these rates in the project and to add 2.0 and 4.0 kg ai/ha. rates. The four treatment rates were used alongside a weedy check and a weed free check as controls. These six randomized treatments were replicated in triplicate with two poplar clones – Walker and Assinaboine. Each plot sprayed with Goal 2XL consisted of ten Walker and ten Assiniboine clones sprayed pre-planting and ten Walker and ten Assiniboine clones sprayed post- planting. All Goal 2XL treatment rates were sprayed on June 6, 2005, using a backpack CO2 pressure regulated sprayer. The treatments were assessed throughout the growing season for weed control and crop tolerance. The 2.0 and 4.0 kg ai/ha rates provided season long weed control. The 1.0 kg ai/ha rate had 31% weed cover after 99 days and the 0.5 kg ai/ha rate provided satisfactory weed control for only 45 days. No significant loss of growth or damage to trees occurred from the herbicide treatments, even at the 4.0 kg ai/ha rate. The weed free controls were maintained by bagging the trees and treating the plots with Roundup in mid-June, mid-July, and mid-September at a 3L/ha rate.
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