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Crop Crack

Optimise Harvest Management With Roundup Energy

For comprehensive harvest management, use Roundup Energy every time.  Click here for full recommendations on when and how much to apply. 

Crop Spraying Almost Complete

All winter barley crops all looking well and the gates are now closed until desiccation takes place in the coming weeks. Most winter wheat crops have received their T3 earwash with a few later drilled crops still to be sprayed. Tebuconazole is the most effective triazole for Fusarium in particular and an important active in its own right at this time. The addition of a strobilurin is essential to maximise the persistence of the triazole, to strengthen activity on Yellow Rust, and delay early leaf senescence. Good grain fill is totally dependent on retaining green leaf area for as long as possible, and the addition of the strobilurin extends the retention of green leaf tissue.

Aphids in cereals

As the grains begin to fill the aphids begin to feed at its base on the ear, drawing off the sugars that should be filling the grain if left unchecked. Growers need to continue checking crops for aphids right up to early milky ripe stage (GS73) in barley, late milky ripe (GS77) in wheat, and spray if present in numbers. Where aphids are not present, unnecessary application should be avoided as any insecticide application at this time is not bee friendly. Of the aphicides approved for use for this purpose, SUMI-ALPHA is the least harmful to bees.

Pre Harvest Glyphosate

Winter barley crops are ripening well and thoughts will now turn to grain quality, moisture levels, and ease of harvesting. Pre harvest application of glyphosate is an essential tool to improve the efficiency of harvesting, giving a range of benefits. It looks like propionic acid is going to be unavailable this year so there is even more need for pre harvest glyphosate.

Independent trials carried out over a number of years in GB, looking at the effect of using Roundup in various replicated treatments consistently show moisture contents being reduced by 2.0-2.5% at harvest compared to plots where no treatment is applied.

Application should be made once the grain moisture gets down to 30% or below, ideally 10-14 days (and not less than 7 days) before cutting. An easy and reliable test to estimate this 30% moisture level is to press the thumbnail into a number of grains; if the indentation holds on all the grains the crop is ready for spraying.

Crops Growing Rapidly Following Warm Spell

Most spring cereal crops continue to benefit from the recent hot weather with many racing through the growth stages in a matter of days after the  early spring conditions. With temperatures now well above average and daylight hours considerably longer than for a crop drilled in early April, such conditions increase the likelihood of crop stress through too little moisture, or not enough nutrient availability to support the potential rate of growth. As a result many fields are beginning to show variation of colour and growth, and such variation is very difficult to address in a satisfactory way. Manganese (Mn) deficiency is widespread in much of our local soil types, and particularly damaging if not treated. Continuous cereal cropping, ground recently limed and dry soils all increase the likelihood of deficiency.  Symptoms begin with small pale green speckles appearing throughout the leaf and these will progress to turn brown unless treated. Barley is particularly susceptible to Mn deficiency.

A young plant that is growing extremely rapidly is producing a huge amount of new plant tissue each day. This rapid growth is limited only by the availability of nutrients to synthesise biomass, dependant on soil fertility and the plant’s own root development to take up the nutrients. It is at this time therefore when nutrient deficiencies are most likely to appear and in doing so, suppress growth rates.

The application of a broad-spectrum trace-element mix along with key macronutrients during this time is a very useful and beneficial way to supplement the plant’s nutrient requirements during periods when availability does not meet demand, most likely to coincide with phases of rapid growth. Application of a balanced and readily available source of macro & micronutrients that is topping up what is being made available from the soil at this key time will minimise the adverse effects of restricting nutrient availability.

CEREAL HIGH N supplies 250gm N,38gmMg,45gm Cu and 15gn Zn per hectare

Disease pressure has been lower than that seen for a long time on winter cereals and fungicides are now complete on winter barley. T2 applications should now be complete on winter wheat crops.

Spring Barley

Dry conditions have held back disease and at present all crops are fairly clean, but in our typically moist climate the likelihood of Rhyncho and Net blotch infections breaking out are inevitable unless controlled in good time.

Even where crops are considered to be clean, controlling Rhyncho early is much more effective than leaving it until it is seen. Once this disease comes into the crop, any eradicant treatment has limited efficacy, will stress the crop and increase the risk of Ramularia infection.

 

Spring Wheat

The young spring wheat plant isn’t subjected to the same disease burden as the overwintered winter wheat plant, therefore a two-spray programme usually suffices, with the T1 applied at 1st-2nd node, GS31-32, and the T2 applied at some point during booting, GS41-49. Whilst a large proportion of these crops are harvested as whole-crop earlier than the conventional combined crop, the feed quality of the harvested crop is very dependant on maximising grain-fill, therefore product choices and rates are similar to those of the winter crop, with significant yield responses to a proper programme.

 

Lodging Control

Application of SELON at early tillering will have increased tiller and ear numbers and therefore yield potential, but will not have given any reliable strengthening of the straw. Stems that extend rapidly during the stem elongation phase (as has happened this season because of late planting and high temperatures) are more likely to be weaker and so there is a greater risk of lodging especially where the crop is being pushed on with nitrogen. SONIS can be used but its cut-off in spring barley is 2nd node, GS32. CANOPY is a very useful alternative, safe to the crop and able to be used right up to and including full flag leaf, GS39.

Because the application of SELON at mid to end of tillering (GS23-30) does give reliable later season lodging control in wheat, it is less likely than spring barley that spring wheat will need a growth regulator towards flag leaf unless the crop is particularly dense.

Weed Control Time In Spring Cereals

Spring Cereals

The more pleasant night-time temperatures have seen a welcome burst of new growth in all crops. All spring crops are looking very well and without the more usual effects of waterlogging seen in other years.  Although weeds are emerging fast as a result of last week’s rain, be sure all are well through before spraying. Also watch the size of the annual meadow grass if this weed is also to be controlled – efficacy falls off rapidly once it begins to tiller. It is important to note that this season aphid numbers are the highest I have seen for a very long time and it would be advisable to apply an aphicide to control the spread of BYDV.

To minimise the effects of competition on the crop and optimise the level of weed control, herbicide application should be carried out once all weeds have emerged but are still small, and before they begin to compete with the crop for nutrients and light. Carrying out the weed control when they are at the 2-4 leaf stage is much more effective especially on difficult weeds such as fumitory and knotgrass, rather than delaying to coincide with the 1st fungicide application.

Broad leaved weeds resistant to particular groups of herbicides in NI is not a new problem – chickweed resistant to herbicides such as ALLY has been widespread throughout the province for some years. Sulfonylurea (SU) herbicides such as metsulfuron have a single mode of activity, blocking the production in many BLW of a key enzyme, acetolactate synthase. Products that use this mode of activity are known as ALS inhibiting herbicides and include the SU chemistry. As well as chickweed, mayweed and poppy have also developed widespread ALS resistance. This particular resistance problem has been managed by including herbicides into the tank-mix with different modes of activity to maintain good weed control.

In spring cereals, ZYPAR, which contains Arylex, will give excellent control of a wide range of weeds that will not be controlled by Ally on its own. These include chickweed, fumitory, fat-hen, groundsel, brassica weeds, and cleavers. It’s one relative weakness is redshank. Whilst it will control it to 6-leaf, it should be tank-mixed with another herbicide to ensure redshank right up to flowering is satisfactorily controlled. ALLY MAX and FOUNDATION are excellent tank-mix partners for this purpose.

 

 

Winter Cereals

Winter cereals have greened up well and are now racing through the growth stages. Awns are now out on all winter barley crops with both T2 application and growth regulator applications complete. Winter wheat crops which have not yet received T2 should be treated as soon as possible along with the growth regulator if required.

Spring Barley Slowly Establishing

The extended period of dry weather has allowed farmers to make significant progress on field work. For many growers it has been the earliest end to a spring planting season in a number of years. Crops have been much slower coming through with the well below average soil temperatures but this week’s rain has made a significant improvement.

Weeds are only just germinating due to the very dry conditions. To minimise the effects of competition on the crop and optimise the level of weed control, herbicide application should be carried out once all weeds have emerged but are still small, and before they begin to compete with the crop for nutrients and light. Carrying out the weed control when they are at the 2-4 leaf stage is much more effective especially on difficult weeds such as fumitory and knotgrass. Whilst chickweed resistant to a wide range of herbicides is commonplace right across the province, the inclusion of the active arylex into the herbicide tank-mix programmes in recent years has given improved control of chickweed and other problem weeds including fumitory and sets a new benchmark in terms of weed control in spring barley and wheat. Marketed as ZYPAR, it is available in co-formulation with the active ingredient florasulam and has excellent multiway compatibility along with a very wide range of other pesticides and has no major following crop restrictions. It gives excellent control of a wide range of broad-leaved weeds that includes chickweed, fumitory, fat-hen, groundsel, brassica weeds, and cleavers, but its weakest weed is redshank. Whilst it will control it alone up to 6-leaf, when tank-mixed with ALLY MAX or FOUNDATION it will control redshank right up to flowering.

Nutrient Demand

Manganese (Mn) deficiency is widespread in many of our local soil types, and particularly damaging to leaf vigour and yield if not treated. Continuous cereal cropping, ground recently limed and dry soils all increase the likelihood of deficiency.  Symptoms begin with small pale green speckles appearing throughout the leaf and these will progress to turn brown unless treated. Barley is particularly susceptible to Mn deficiency. MAXMAN is a highly concentrated Mn(40%) in a completely soluble chelated nitrate formulation and also supplies 10.8% Nitrogen and 11.4% Sulphur. A young plant that is growing extremely rapidly is producing a huge amount of new plant tissue each day. This rapid growth is limited only by the availability of nutrients to synthesise biomass, dependant on soil fertility and the plant’s own root development to take up the nutrients. It is at this time therefore when nutrient deficiencies are most likely to appear and in doing so, suppress growth rates.

The application of a broad-spectrum trace-element mix along with key macronutrients during this time is a very useful and beneficial way to supplement the plant’s nutrient requirements during periods when availability does not meet demand, most likely to coincide with phases of rapid growth i.e.during tillering and as stem extension begins. Application of a balanced and readily available source of macro & micronutrients that is topping up what is being made available from the soil at this key time will minimise the adverse effects of restricting nutrient availability. CEREAL HIGH N-supplies 250gm N, 125gm S, 38gm Mg, 93gm Mn, 45gm Cu and 15gm Zn per ha.

FASTMIX MAGNESIUM PLUS is an alternative product specifically formulated to meet the increased micronutrient demand of cereals and other combinable crops with good yield potential. It is a quick acting foliar fertiliser containing high levels of magnesium and sulphur as well as manganese, zinc and boron, all in a water-soluble form and readily available to the plant. It is very compatible in tank-mix with most pesticides and can be applied along with the T1 and T2 fungicide applications. Being a dry formulation, it should be fully dissolved in the tank first and other products added afterwards.

Growth Manipulation

Because tiller numbers are one of the key components of yield, encouraging plants to produce more tillers, especially those later drilled, will improve yield potential. Apical dominance is caused by the apical (primary) tiller producing auxin, a hormone that then suppresses further development of the secondary tillers. When applied before the end of tillering onto spring barley and spring wheat, SELON suppresses the production of auxin, allowing the plant produce more tillers. Because an early application suppresses the main stem development and so diverts the growing efforts to the tillers, this extra growing effort also increases root development in the plant, so improving crop establishment, stem base lodging (not brackling) and yield. This treatment also gives a consistent straw shortening effect in wheat, but not in barley. Because of the later timing on spring oats, its effect on tiller numbers on this crop is negligible.

SELON is fully approved for use on spring wheat, spring barley and spring oats; it has no approval or EAMU for use on spring rye or triticale.

 

 

Time For Pre-Harvest Roundup

Pre-Harvest Glyphosate

Winter barley crops are ripening well and thoughts will now turn to grain quality, moisture levels, and ease of harvesting. This year in particular grasses and other weeds are a real problem in many fields. Pre harvest application of glyphosate is an essential tool to improve the efficiency of harvesting, giving a range of benefits:

Harvest management

-all green tissue removed – ripens any green stems, leaves and pickles  allowing cutting to start earlier in the day & continue for longer

-no green pickles reducing overall grain moisture and drying costs

-less grain lost over straw walkers caused by green material during threshing

-faster straw clearance reduces length of weather window required

-limits sprouting in laid crops

 

Scutch & general weed control

-the most effective time to control scutch in tillage ground

-desiccates any other green grass & broad-leaved weeds present, facilitating lower grain moisture, faster harvesting and sooner baling of straw

Note however, do not use glyphosate on any crops where seed may be saved for re-sowing.

Independent trials carried out over a number of years in GB looking at the effect of using Roundup in various replicated treatments consistently show moisture contents being reduced by 2.0-2.5% at harvest compared to plots where no treatment is applied.

With a wide range of glyphosate products available, which offers the best performance in the field, and best value for money? First off, it is not the price per drum that should be compared. With different formulation types having different strengths of active per litre and therefore different rates of use, it is the price per acre treated that should be compared, and what level of performance is being obtained from each. Glyphosate itself is not very soluble therefore it depends very much on the salts and wetters to enhance its performance. The potassium salt in Roundup Energy is  taken up significantly faster than isopropylamine salt; as a result ENERGY is rainfast within 1 hour of application and cultivation can commence as soon as 2 days after application whereas the IPA glyphosate products need a minimum of 6 hours to be rainfast and 5 days minimum before cultivating.

Application should be made once the grain moisture gets down to 30% or below, ideally 10-14 days (and not less than 7 days) before cutting. An easy and reliable test to estimate this 30% moisture level is to press the thumbnail into a number of grains; if the indentation holds on all the grains the crop is ready for spraying.

Grassland Weeds Coming Back After Silage Cutting

Grassland

Attention must now be given to those fields which were not sprayed prior to first cut. Grassland herbicides use growth function to kill weeds, therefore peak growth periods should be used for herbicide application. There must be sufficient growth to allow herbicides to be effective and vegetative growth is the key time to apply, as the chemical then gets drawn down into the roots. Herbicides are less successful once plants have progressed to the reproductive stage and have thrown a stem or began to seed. Once weeds are beyond the ideal growth stage for spraying, they should be mowed or topped and allowed to regrow again, and a herbicide applied to the fresh young growth.

To optimise efficacy of any herbicide, recommended water volumes should be observed, even when it means more time spent spraying. It is important to note ragwort plants in their second year are now coming close to flower and should be sprayed immediately as flowering ragwort is poorly controlled. The routine herbicide treatments for this weed are full rate MCPA or 2, 4-D, and they are most active on growing rosettes with reduced activity as the stem starts to extend. They are not clover safe. You can use a mixture of both these products as Nufarm Lupo which allows an increased dose herbicide compared with either alone, with a consequent activity benefit. Forefront is also very effective on ragwort. Stock must be kept off until the weeds have rotted away, which can take up to six weeks.

Buttercups are now ready for treatment. Best results are achieved if sprayed before flowering. ENVY is very effective on both buttercup and dandelions. Envy contains florasulam and fluroxypyr. Together they deliver excellent control of weeds found in pastures which typically get over grazed, receive minimal nitrogen or have poorly competing grass species present. Envy has no manure management restriction and has a short seven-day stock withdrawal period so animals can return quickly. Envy is very safe to grass and won’t hold back its growth. Buttercups are best controlled when they are still green and leafy and before the main flowering period. You will still get control during flowering but for the best effect treat now. Product choice depends very much on which other weeds are being targeted. Where clover is important SPRUCE may be applied to control buttercup.

 

Potatoes

Where broad –leaved weed control has yet to be completed and the crop has passed the latest timing for Sencorex a reduced rate of Sencorex tank-mixed with Titus will provide a wider weed spectrum of weed control than Titus used alone and can be used on emerged crops up to 25cm high where the label allows .Scutch, other grasses or volunteer cereals are not controlled by the Titus/Sencorex mix. Where these weeds become a problem in coming weeks the graminicide Falcon can be used. Falcon can cause transient yellowing and is therefore not approved for use on seed crops.

As canopies close, the soil surface will tend to remain damper, encouraging slugs onto the soil surface. Timing is critical for effective control, just before the crop meets across the rows. Take advantage of any rainfall by applying pellets just afterwards, as this will bring slugs up onto the soil surface. Potato varieties particularly susceptible to slug damage include Maris Piper, Desiree and Kerrs Pinks.

Blight fungicides move through the plant in three different ways contact, translaminar and systemic. Dithane, Shirlan and Tizca are all contact fungicides. These Products protect only the outer surface of the leaf onto which they are deposited.Translaminar products such as Curzate M, Invader and Ranman Top move into the leaf and redistribute throughout the leaf tissue as it increases in size whilst systemic products such as Zorvec and  Infinito move in through the leaf surface and upwards into the new growth protecting this from infection also. Products that have zoospore activity are the most effective 1st spray, applied at the rosette stage prior to rapid haulm growth. Shirlan or Tizca will control any zoospores that may be in the soil and provide good protection of the new plant. During the main canopy development phase with the considerable amount of new growth it is essential the product being used is fully systemic to properly protect the new leaves being put on between applications. Later planted crops are higher risk as they produce more new growth between applications than earlier drilled crops, at a time when the level of inoculum in the air is progressively increasing. The way the blight product is applied is as important as the product choice. Make sure nozzle type used is correct to ensure sprayer pressure; droplet size and water applied is as directed on the label. Inspect and calibrate nozzles regularly to maintain performance. Never use any blight product at reduced rates. Do not spray when the leaves are wet as this will significantly increase the likelihood of runoff.

Crops Racing Through Growth Stages

Crop Nutrition

Most spring cereal crops continue to benefit from the recent hot weather with many racing through the growth stages in a matter of days. However the late planting in May and dry weeks since make a challenging combination. With temperatures well above average and daylight hours considerably longer than for a crop drilled in early April, such conditions increase the likelihood of crop stress through too little moisture, or not enough nutrient availability to support the potential rate of growth. As a result many fields are beginning to show variation of colour and growth, and such variation is very difficult to address in a satisfactory way. Manganese (Mn) deficiency is widespread in much of our local soil types, and particularly damaging if not treated. Continuous cereal cropping, ground recently limed and dry soils all increase the likelihood of deficiency.  Symptoms begin with small pale green speckles appearing throughout the leaf and these will progress to turn brown unless treated. Barley is particularly susceptible to Mn deficiency.

A young plant that is growing extremely rapidly is producing a huge amount of new plant tissue each day. This rapid growth is limited only by the availability of nutrients to synthesise biomass, dependant on soil fertility and the plant’s own root development to take up the nutrients. It is at this time therefore when nutrient deficiencies are most likely to appear and in doing so, suppress growth rates.

The application of a broad-spectrum trace-element mix along with key macronutrients during this time is a very useful and beneficial way to supplement the plant’s nutrient requirements during periods when availability does not meet demand, most likely to coincide with phases of rapid growth. Application of a balanced and readily available source of macro & micronutrients that is topping up what is being made available from the soil at this key time will minimise the adverse effects of restricting nutrient availability.  Applying Cereal Plus High N will help your crop overcome these deficiencies.  Cereal Plus High N supplies 250gm Nitrogen, 125gm Sulphur, 93gm Manganese, 38gmMagnesium, 45gm Copper and 15gm Zinc per hectare.Winter cereals are struggling for moisture at present especially winter barley. Disease pressure has been lower than that seen for a long time and fungicides are now complete on winter barley. As temperatures are now a bit lower hopefully this will cause less stress on the flag leaf asT2 applications should now be done on winter wheat crops.

 

 

Spring Barley

Dry conditions have held back disease and at present all crops are fairly clean, but in our typically moist climate the likelihood of Rhyncho and Net blotch infections breaking out are inevitable unless controlled in good time.

Even where crops are considered to be clean, controlling Rhyncho early is much more effective than leaving it until it is seen. Once this disease comes into the crop, any eradicant treatment has limited efficacy, will stress the crop and increase the risk of Ramularia infection.

 

Spring Wheat

The young spring wheat plant isn’t subjected to the same disease burden as the overwintered winter wheat plant, therefore a two-spray programme usually suffices, with the T1 applied at 1st-2nd node, GS31-32, and the T2 applied at some point during booting, GS41-49. Whilst a large proportion of these crops are harvested as whole-crop earlier than the conventional combined crop, the feed quality of the harvested crop is very dependant on maximising grain-fill, therefore product choices and rates are similar to those of the winter crop, with significant yield responses to a proper programme.

Lodging Control

Application of Selon at early tillering will have increased tiller and ear numbers and therefore yield potential, but will not have given any reliable strengthening of the straw. Stems that extend rapidly during the stem elongation phase (as has happened this season because of late planting and high temperatures) are more likely to be weaker and so there is a greater risk of lodging especially where the crop is being pushed on with nitrogen. Sonis/Moddus can be used but its cut-off in spring barley is 2nd node, GS32. Canopy is a very useful alternative, safe to the crop and able to be used right up to and including full flag leaf, GS39.

Selon applied at mid to end of tillering (GS23-30) on spring wheat gives reliable later season lodging control, therefore it is less likely that spring wheat will need a growth regulator towards flag leaf unless the crop is particularly dense.

Time For Weed Control In Spring Cereals

The extended period of dry weather has allowed farmers to make significant progress on field work. For many growers it has been the earliest end to a spring planting season in a number of years.

Weed control has been difficult to date as crops are growing well but weeds are only just germinating due to the very dry conditions. To minimise the effects of competition on the crop and optimise the level of weed control, herbicide application should be carried out once all weeds have emerged but are still small, and before they begin to compete with the crop for nutrients and light. Carrying out the weed control when they are at the 2-4 leaf stage is much more effective especially on difficult weeds such as fumitory and knotgrass. Whilst chickweed resistant to a wide range of herbicides is commonplace right across the province, the  inclusion of the active arylex into the herbicide tank-mix programmes in recent years has given improved control of  chickweed and other problem weeds including fumitory and sets a new benchmark in terms of weed control in spring barley and wheat. It belongs to a chemical family classified as synthetic auxins, similar to the old hormone chemistry and controls a wide range of broad-leaved weeds including those resistant to the ALS herbicides in most winter and spring cereals, including robust control of fumitory, fat-hen and ALS resistant chickweed. Marketed as ZYPAR, it is available in co-formulation with the active ingredient florasulam and has excellent multiway compatibility along with a very wide range of other pesticides and has no major following crop restrictions. It gives excellent control of a wide range of broad-leaved weeds that includes chickweed, fumitory, fat-hen, groundsel, brassica weeds, and cleavers, but its weakest weed is redshank. Whilst it will control it alone up to 6-leaf, when tank-mixed with ALLY MAX or FOUNDATION it will control redshank right up to flowering.

Temporary nutrient issues

Manganese (Mn) deficiency is widespread in much of our local soil types, and particularly damaging to leaf vigour and yield if not treated. Continuous cereal cropping, ground recently limed and dry soils all increase the likelihood of deficiency.  Symptoms begin with small pale green speckles appearing throughout the leaf and these will progress to turn brown unless treated. Barley is particularly susceptible to Mn deficiency. MAXMAN is a highly concentrated Mn(40%) in a completely soluble chelated nitrate formulation and also supplies 10.8% Nitrogen and 11.4% Sulphur

 

A young plant that is growing extremely rapidly is producing a huge amount of new plant tissue each day. This rapid growth is limited only by the availability of nutrients to synthesise biomass, dependant on soil fertility and the plant’s own root development to take up the nutrients. It is at this time therefore when nutrient deficiencies are most likely to appear and in doing so, suppress growth rates.

The application of a broad-spectrum trace-element mix along with key macronutrients during this time is a very useful and beneficial way to supplement the plant’s nutrient requirements during periods when availability does not meet demand, most likely to coincide with phases of rapid growth ie. during tillering and as stem extension begins. Application of a balanced and readily available source of macro & micronutrients that is topping up what is being made available from the  soil at this key time will minimise the adverse effects of restricting nutrient availability. CEREAL HIGH N-supplies 250gm N, 125gm S, 38gm Mg, 93gm Mn, 45gm Cu and 15gm Zn per ha

 

 

FASTMIX MAGNESIUM PLUS is an alternative product specifically formulated to meet the increased micronutrient demand of cereals and other combinable crops with good yield potential. It is a quick acting foliar fertiliser containing high levels of magnesium and sulphur as well as manganese, zinc and boron, all in a water soluble form and readily available to the plant. It is very compatible in tank-mix with most pesticides and can be applied along with the T1 and T2 fungicide applications. Being a dry formulation, it should be fully dissolved in the tank first and other products added afterwards.

 

Weed Control Essential For Quality Silage

Docks

As thoughts turn to silage, treating dock-ridden leys with Doxstar Pro four weeks before cutting will significantly increase the amount of grass that ends up in the clamp and improve silage quality. Docks have much less feed value than grass and pull down dry matter. Forefront T is the most effective herbicide available to grassland farmers for the control of docks, ragwort, chickweed, thistles, dandelions, nettles and buttercups. It is the longest lasting weed control product in grassland to date with a single well-timed spray giving up to 18 months control so whilst it may appear expensive it really is good value for money. Forefront T may only be applied to grazing ground. Once the established docks have been controlled it is best to keep the problem under control with follow-up treatments every year. This controls new growth of seedling docks that will reappear because all that is required for dormant seeds to germinate is a gap in the sward caused by poaching or tractor marks.

In fertile soils, the dock root system consists of a large tap root with a highly branched mass of smaller fibrous roots. This means what appears to be a small dock plant above ground may in fact be growing from a large rooting system below ground. In order to achieve effective herbicide application docks should be at the rosette stage, with foliage8-10 inches high or across. If grass has been cut or grazed a period of three weeks must occur to allow sufficient regrowth and a suitable target for spraying. If applying Forefront T, Doxstar Pro or Pas.Tor, livestock should be kept out of treated areas for 7 days before grazing and until the foliage of any poisonous weeds has died and become unpalatable. Where clover is important Squire Ultra may be applied in established grass.

Chickweed

There are 2 types of chickweed, common chickweed which has a smooth leaf and is the most commonly found, and mouse-eared chickweed which has a larger leaf than common, with a very hairy surface on the leaf & stem. Chickweed levels have built up very quickly this spring as this weed grows at lower temperatures than grass, and should be treated as soon as possible to avoid choking out the young grass. Similarly, established swards that have been poached by autumn grazing tend to be very open in the early spring and this allows chickweed a chance to become a problem. Chickweed can mature and produce seed in 5-6 weeks hence there can be several generations in a year. Mouse-eared chickweed is very common on many local farms and it is important to note the distinct differences and treatments. Both Envy and Leystar will be used widely on new sown leys this season where clover is not important. As well as controlling both strains of chickweed it will give very good control of dock and thistle.

 

 

 

 

 

Where clover is part of the mixture then a clover safe product must be used. Triad is an SU type herbicide that is safe to clover when used correctly. As well as controlling a wide range of BLW’s Triad gives excellent control on chickweed. It will also control seedling docks (not those regrowing from roots), but has no effect on thistles or buttercup. Add Spruce to bring in control of these weeds.

It is extremely difficult to achieve satisfactory control once weeds get beyond the seedling (young plant) stage. Clover content of the sward needs to be higher than is often appreciated. As a rule of thumb there should be 10 plants per square metre at the start of the season. Where plant populations are below this level it is more important to focus on other aspects and be prepared to treat the field as a grass only crop. High levels of nitrogen will significantly reduce clover growth, but by reducing nitrogen inputs overall forage yield will be reduced.

 

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Recent Crop Crack

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