The efficacy of metolachlor on rigid ryegrass was determined under a no-till seeding system in an experiment conducted in 2004 and 2005 in South Australia. Metolachlor at a rate of 0.48 and 0.96 kg ai/ha was applied at 40 or 46 d (very early preplant, VEPP) and 20 or 23 d before crop sowing (early preplant, EPP), and at sowing (preplant, PP) in 2004 and 2005; the herbicide was incorporated by sowing. The control of rigid ryegrass was greater than 80% when metolachlor was applied PP; however, that application resulted in phytotoxic effects on emergence and yield of wheat; metolachlor was more phytotoxic when applied at 0.96 kg/ha than at 0.48 kg/ha. Metolachlor applied EPP provided 71 to 83% rigid ryegrass control, whereas VEPP application provided only 33 to 49% control. Reduction in wheat grain yield was not observed at these application times. This study indicates that metolachlor at 0.48 kg/ha could be safely applied around 20 d before crop sowing to selectively control rigid ryegrass in wheat.
Nomenclature: Metolachlor, rigid ryegrass, Lolium rigidum Gaud. LOLRI, wheat, Triticum aestivum L. ‘Krichauff’