Crop Crack

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.

 
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