The effect of ethametsulfuron on populations of canola was evaluated in field and laboratory trials. Three canola populations (TR4, CB9604, and BC86-18) and the open-pollinated canola cv. ‘AC Parkland’ were treated with several doses of ethametsulfuron at the two- to four-leaf stage. In the field experiment, plant densities were determined before spraying and again at plant maturity. Density reductions during the growing season were observed for all populations (6 to 17%), but reductions due to ethametsulfuron above 0.3 g ha−1 depended on year, being noted for TR4 in 1997 (40 to 65%) only. In laboratory trials, only TR4 demonstrated sensitivity to ethametsulfuron, up to 49% visual damage averaged over all plants. The response was binary, with about 40% of plants at any given herbicide rate surviving unharmed and the remaining 60% of plants exhibiting > 90% visual damage. It is concluded that TR4 is sensitive to ethametsulfuron and further work, including a comprehensive genetic study, is required to determine the inheritance of sensitivity.
Nomenclature: Ethametsulfuron; canola, Brassica rapa L.