Crop Crack

Kerb Granules – Weed Free Trees & Shrubs!

Welcome to the first crop crack of 2019. It is possible to still achieve excellent weed control for some weeks yet in situations on farm, commercial forestry, ornamental plantings and recreation areas.

Season long control of grasses and most broad-leaved weeds is possible by applying Kerb Granules at this time. KERB is a pre- and post-emergence residual herbicide for the control of annual and perennial grasses and a wide range of other weeds. Propyzamid the active ingredient in Kerb works by inhibiting cell division, disrupting the growth process and leading to eventual death of the weed. Kerb can be applied to all soil types, therefore allowing its use in many areas where weed control is needed.Kerb is the ideal herbicide for forestry and woodland (including farm forestry), ornamental shrubberies and rose beds, hedges, fence lines and gravel pathways. Where shrub beds are mulched Kerb Granules must be applied immediately prior to mulching if weeds are to be prevented from growing through the mulch.Kerb requires soil moisture for root uptake to take place. KERB Granules are mobile in the soil profile and therefore the best results will be achieved when applying in cooler conditions, usually between October and February. If warm, dry conditions prevail after application then weed control may be reduced. Although KERB can be applied in all weather conditions, application to severely frozen ground should be avoided if there is any risk of surface run-off.KERB Granules is non- irritant, non-sensitising and has no known bio-accumulation which gives you the confidence to use this product in areas open to the general public. For further information contact your local agrochemical merchant.


Autumn Drilling Progressing Well

Soil conditions are excellent for cultivation at the moment, and there is a lot of field work going on, mainly grass reseeding , but also the drilling of cereals. With a longer gap than usual between harvesting and drilling autumn crops, some stale seedbed cultivations have been carried out, to assist control of brome and other problematic grass weeds.

Be aware though, early drilling of crops brings its own problems. When temperatures remain mild, aphids numbers remain high and will quickly move into new crops as these emerge, therefore increasing the likelihood of BYDV infection in all emerged winter crops. Early drilling also increases the likelihood of disease infection. Lush crops of winter barley going into the winter are much more susceptible to Rhyncho and Mildew, as was prevalent last winter. Early drilling of winter wheat in particular significantly increases the likelihood of Take-all and an appropriate Take-all seed treatment should be applied as a matter of course. Winter oats are particularly susceptible to Mildew.

Annual meadow grass and broad leaved weeds

Annual meadow-grass (AMG) continues to be the most problematic weed in autumn cereals. If not properly controlled, this weed grass will continue to grow throughout most of the winter and once well tillered is impossible to control effectively. Flufenacet, available in various mixes, is the principle active in autumn herbicide programmes to control AMG, giving pre and post emergent activity of the weed grass. It has limited broad-leaved weed activity but is very effective on a wide range of other grass weeds, including all species of brome. Whilst HAMLET and OTHELLO are effective alternatives to flufenacet for controlling AMG in winter wheat, in the early spring, there are no such options for barley, rye or oats. The key to effective control in winter barley and rye is to apply flufenacet (not oats) before or soon after emergence of the crop, critically before the AMG has begun to tiller. Only when soil temperatures have dropped, pre-emergence of the crop is very effective and with GPS technology this is an option.

Other actives used at this time include pendimethalin (PDM) and diflufenican (DFF). PDM is also active on AMG but pre-emergent only. It is relatively insoluble and so persists for an extended period in the soil. PDM also has a wide broad leaved weed (BLW) pre-em spectrum, including chickweed and fumitory, but not groundsel. DFF is a residual with both pre and post emergent activity. It has no AMG activity but has a wide spectrum of BLWs including large chickweed and field pansy, but no activity on fumitory or groundsel.

FMC (formerly Headland) have introduced a new broad spectrum autumn herbicide called NUCLEUS, containing flufenacet and DFF. Whilst the grams of both actives are the same as LIBERATOR and therefore performs in an identical way in the field, NUCLEUS has a broader label with full approval for use on winter rye and triticale, alongside winter wheat and barley.

The persistency of any herbicide product that has residual activity is directly linked to soil temperature – the lower the temperature the longer the duration of its persistency. As soils cool in the coming weeks and months, product performance will improve the longer application is delayed into the winter.

Soil acting herbicides also require adequate soil moisture to work, but a persistently wet winter will also adversely affect performance, the more soluble actives being leached out of the soil, before the crop canopy has sufficiently covered the soil surface to prevent a late weed infestation reoccurring.

Manganese Deficiency

In known deficient soils, manganese should be applied during November. Treatment of the condition before deficiency symptoms are seen will mean stronger healthier plants going through to spring. A follow-up treatment should also be applied in the early spring.



Crops Ripening Very Fast

The drought during July has caused rapid senescence on many winter wheat and spring barley crops. A fair acreage of winter wheat crops have been harvested for whole crop. In order to ensure harvested crops are kept free from pests,stores need to be thoroughly cleaned to ensure any debris that may be harbouring pests is removed.Pests arise from within the store and not from harvested grain. Reldan can be applied to empty stores to combat grain store pests.

Autumn planning

The recent rainfall will bring slugs back up onto the soil surface and there will certainly be a need to assess numbers for autumn planting. An easy way to trap is to use dry food such as breakfast cereal (muesli) or similar and place a tablespoon under a slate or fertiliser bag. Traps should be checked early in the morning approximately two days after being placed in the field. Slugs don’t like fine firm seedbeds so good cultivation can reduce the risk of damage as can deeper sowing. There are also some cereal seed treatments which can protect seed hollowing by slugs but damage to shoots remain a threat.BYDV protection can be given in seed treatment as well as takeall and autumn foliar diseases.


The risk of blight remains high with great variations in particular areas due to localised showers. To try and keep crops free from blight where pressure is severe requires short intervals appropriate for high risk and also the use of fungicide products with curative activity. Fungicides with good rainfastness will be very beneficial given the current showery conditions , especially because it’s been difficult to accurately predict the timing and location of showers.


Propionic Acid

Propionic acid has an energy value of 1.5 times that of barley so as well as preserving the grain it also adds to its energy value. With Propionic treatment, harvesting can take place when there is still surface dampness on the grain, dew or rain. Harvesting can start earlier in the morning or after rain and continue later at night, giving a quicker more flexible harvest, which leaves extra time for autumn cultivations. By harvesting before grain is fully ‘ripe’ a higher yield is also obtained, reduced shedding losses may save 200kg per hectare.

Natural vitamin E levels in moist grain, whether treated or not, are destroyed during storage. When moist grain forms a major part of the diet a mineral/vitamin supplement high in vitamin E should be used.

Treated grain can be stored simply on a dry floor. It should not be stored with untreated grain. Check MC and auger rate regularly.

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