Thoughts turn to spring cereal herbicide programmes
Spring drilling is nearing completion in many parts of the UK as farmers make the largest shift away from winter cereals for many years.
Estimates are that over one million hectares of spring barley will be grown in 2020.
While basic weed control principles are carried over from winter cereals, Corteva AgriscienceTM advises some fine tuning to programmes will be necessary to ensure maximum efficacy in spring crops.
The company’s cereal herbicides category manager, Alister McRobbie, said farmers will need to pay close attention to broadleaf weed control if they are to prevent significantly reduced yields, especially if crops are open and uncompetitive.
“We saw about 900,000 hectares of spring barley planted in 2013 but the switch we are seeing this year is profound.
“Where spring cereals aren’t the norm, farmers should be mindful that different weed control strategies are required. Broadleaf weed species are more likely to pose a threat to yield and a problem at harvest than grassweeds.”
Product choice and timing are two important decisions for farmers to consider.
PixxaroTM and ZyparTM both contain ArylexTM Active and are contact-acting herbicides which can be applied all the way through to growth stage 45 in winter and spring cereals, but not oats.
They deliver outstanding control of key problem weeds such as cleavers, poppies, cranesbill, fumitory, fat hen, chickweed and black bindweed.
Alister recommends using Arylex chemistry early when weeds are small for maximum impact.
“Taking out yield-robbing weeds early releases the plant’s potential by reducing competition in the crop,” he said.
Timing is extremely flexible though, and Arylex chemistry has a wide range of tested tank-mix compatibilities with PGRs, fungicides and herbicides allowing farmers to make the most of limited spray opportunities and apply the tank mix of their choice.
Alister said: “They can be applied at the T0 fungicide timing to remove competitive weeds early in a single pass. Using the product in this way negates the need for a complicated tank mix at T1.
“Those growers who wait until the T2 fungicide timing can use Arylex chemistry to mop up weeds that have escaped treatment earlier in the spring, as well as clearing out late flushes of cleavers and black bindweed which may come through.
“Growers with suspected or confirmed resistance to ALS chemistry in poppies and chickweed will see the benefit of the alternative mode of action straight away.”