How to Manage Prickly Lettuce in Wheat

FBN Network

Jan 23, 2024

The agricultural landscape is riddled with challenges, and weeds, particularly Prickly Lettuce (Lactuca serriola), pose a significant threat to wheat yield and quality. 

Known alternatively as compass plant or wild lettuce, this highly competitive weed competes for essential resources such as light, water, and nutrients. Moreover, it can harbor various pests and diseases, further threatening the health and yield of wheat crops.

This post will outline:

  • How to identify Prickly Lettuce 

  • Geographic impact of Prickly Lettuce 

  • Timing of Prickly Lettuce 

  • How to manage Prickly Lettuce in wheat

How to Identify Prickly Lettuce 

Prickly Lettuce, an annual or biennial plant, can tower up to 2 meters tall. Its small, yellow flowers typically bloom from July to September.

Distinctive leaf shape and prickles are key indicators of Prickly Lettuce. Its oblong, lobed leaves sport prickles on the underside along the midrib. 

The milky sap exuded when the plant is cut or broken serves as another identification marker. This is a characteristic feature of the lettuce family.

Geographic Impact of Prickly Lettuce 

Prickly Lettuce is a widespread weed originating from Europe and Asia. It has since invaded North America and Australia, often causing significant damage to wheat crops. 

Prickly Lettuce thrives in a wide range of soils and climates, but it is most commonly found in temperate regions. 

Timing of Prickly Lettuce 

It usually emerges early in the growing season, often in the spring. It can continue to flourish until late fall.

How to Manage Prickly Lettuce in Wheat

It is crucial for farmers and agricultural professionals to identify this weed and understand its impact on wheat. With this knowledge, they can devise effective strategies to manage Prickly Lettuce and mitigate its impact on wheat yield and quality.

To manage Prickly Lettuce in wheat, consider these two effective herbicides: Willowood Paraquat 3SL, which contains Paraquat dichloride and is labeled for use with wheat specifically for controlling prickly lettuce, and Huskie® Herbicide, which contains Pyrasulfotole, Bromoxynil, Octanoic acid ester, and Bromoxynil, Heptanoic acid ester, also labeled for use with wheat for controlling prickly lettuce. Both products are available from FBN®.

The application rates for these recommended products are:

1. Willowood Paraquat 3SL:

  • Typical application rate for wheat: 2 U.S. liquid pint/acre (range: 1.3-2.7 U.S. liquid pint/acre)

  • More information about Willowood Paraquat 3SL, including the label and safety data sheet, is available here.

2. Huskie® Herbicide:

  • Typical application rate for wheat: 12 oz/acre (range: 11-15 oz/acre)

  • More information about Huskie® Herbicide, including the label and safety data sheet, is available here.

Please note that these rates are specific to wheat and may vary for other crops. Always read and follow the product labels for accurate application instructions.

Crop Protection from FBN

Proactively scouting for and responding to weeds in your fields will help reduce potential crop damage and improve yield. FBN has a wide variety of effective herbicides to help address agronomic pressures and keep your operation on track. 

With transparent pricing, straightforward online ordering, detailed product labels, and fast direct-to-farm delivery, FBN can help you get the products you need to protect your crops.


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FBN Network

Jan 23, 2024