« Return to all Research Projects

Stimulating germination wild oat and volunteer cereals (wheat, barley and oats) from the soil seedbank

Crop Types
  • Whole Farm
Collaborating Locations


This research was conducted in an incubator in Saskatoon, SK in 2021. Stimulants of interest were pyroligneous acid and potassium nitrate. Pyroligneous acid showed potential to increase emergence velocity on freshly matured wild oat, whereas wild oat was insensitive to the nitrogen at a wide range of concentrations. Future research is required to determine application volumes and their affects on crops, weeds, the microbiome, pathogens and insects.


  1. Develop a stimulation cocktail for sprouting wild oat and volunteer cereal seed.
  2. Characterize the dose response, interaction, and optimal mix of potassium nitrate and pyroligneous acid (liquid smoke) to determine the suitability of either pre-seeding or post-harvest germination stimulation of wild oat, volunteer barley, oats, and wheat.

Key Takeaways

  • Pyroligneous acid solutions show potential to increase emergence velocity on freshly-matured wild oat.
  • Pyroligneous acid was effective even if seed was shallow buried.
  • Using nitrogen as a stimulant may be limited on a broad scale.
  • Additional study is required to evaluate spray patterns, concentrations and further effects on crops, weeds and the soil environment.

Project Details

Principal Investigator
Dr. Shaun Sharpe
Project Status
Start Date
Completion Date
Funding Partners
Total Project Cost
MCA Funding

Field Issues

  • Weeds