Poppy in oilseed rape

poppy in oilseed rape

Key Points

  • Poppies are as competitive as blackgrass and mayweed
  • Poppy seeds can last 100 years in the soil
  • One plant can produce 20,000 seeds
  • ASTROKerb® has contact activity against poppy and mayweed


Poppy – Papaver rhoeas – is an annual weed common and problematic in both cereals and oilseed rape.

One plant can produce 20,000 seeds and the seeds can remain dormant for 100 years in the soil seed bank. Poppies have a similar competitive indices to blackgrass and mayweed and can also cause harvest difficulties including blocking of combine sieves. Since the loss of trifluarlin, control has relied heavily on pre/early post-emergence herbicides.

Sulfonylurea resistance has been confirmed in the UK, therefore resistance management and WRAG guidelines should be considered when targeting this weed if resistance is known or expected.


Poppies can grow successfully on many different soil types but favour lighter chalky soils. Poppy has an annual lifecycle germinating in both autumn and spring, though germination peaks around late September through to November and plants successfully overwinter. Poppies can be particularly problematic in oilseed rape due to the early sowing date and limitations in achieving a stale seedbed before drilling.

Young poppy plants can sometimes be confused with Shepherd’s purse, but the characteristic ‘mitten’ shaped first true leaves of the poppy differentiate the two. Later leaves are hairy, deeply lobed and the upper leaves are sessile (attached to the stem without a stalk). The distinctive red flowers of the poppy can usually be seen from June.

Product Choice

ASTROKerb is a contact and residual herbicide for dual-action control of grassweeds and broad-leaved weeds in oilseed rape. This exciting innovation from Dow AgroSciences contains 500 g/L propyzamide and 5.3 g/L aminopyralid providing the broadest spectrum, post-emergence weed control of any oilseed rape herbicide on the market today. This well anticipated product fills an important gap in post-emergence weed control.

When it comes to the control of grassweeds in winter oilseed rape, Kerb Flo 500 is the market benchmark and remains a very powerful weapon in the agronomist’s armoury as there are still no reports of blackgrass showing any signs of resistance to propyzamide.  ASTROKerb’s dual-action formulation does not compromise efficacy on blackgrass, and when used as part of a programme which uses a metazachlor based pre-emergence product, can control a wide spectrum of troublesome, broad-leaved weeds including poppy and mayweed.

Products to control poppy in oilseed rape