Tank mixing herbicide with insecticide or fungicide

June 5, 2013 - Issue 10

Questions have come from producers whether they are able to combine pest control operations to save trips over the field. The following are some important things to consider when making this decision:

1. Is the tank mix supported by the product manufacturers? Before doing any tank mix, check the label to see if it’s approved or check with the manufacturers of all products in the tank mix to make sure the mix is safe for the sprayer and operator, and that efficacy and plant health maintained for all products in the tank.

2. Be sure the insect or disease is present and apt to cause economic damage or yield loss. Applying an insecticide or fungicide while spraying for weeds does reduce application costs if you will need to spray fungicide or insecticide within the week anyway. But if you couldn’t justify spraying that product on its own, it doesn’t need to be added to the mix.

3. Un-needed sprays put beneficials at risk. Beneficial insects provide valuable natural control of many canola insect pests, including diamondback moth, lygus bug and bertha armyworm. Spraying these pests when economic thresholds say it isn’t necessary puts heavy strain on beneficial populations.

4. Sustainability — of both our management tools and our farming system. This goes beyond just beneficials. Applying a pesticide routinely whenever a pest is present without considering economic thresholds can lead to resistance to those products, making them ineffective for when they are really needed to manage economic infestations. A core value for Canada’s canola industry is sustainability — a commitment to a profitable sustainable canola industry, including improving the health of consumers and our environment. Keep this core value of sustainability in mind when making spray decisions.

Canola Watch