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BASF’s Head of Global Sustainability and Product Stewardship, Joachim Leyendecker will be presenting a seminar on Profiting from Positive Stewardship at the CropTec event.
“CropTec provides a great platform to focus on and to discuss the challenges that face oilseed rape growers and to share solutions to those challenges together,” says Joachim. “Oilseed rape remains the most profitable break crop in the rotation and it plays a key role in the control of problem weeds, such as black-grass, right across the rotation. This is especially so on heavy land where spring crops are difficult to grow. Growers should not underestimate the value of rape in their rotation.”
But Joachim warns that the greatest threat to growing oilseed rape today is water regulation, both in the EU and in the UK. “If we exceed the set amount of chemical in water, we stand the risk of less herbicide use, lower dose rates, a poor image for the industry and the possible removal of important active ingredients from the market. Our challenge as an industry is to be technically innovative and to think agronomically, whilst always protecting water resources.”
Dr. Leyendecker advises that BASF has made a step-change in promoting product Stewardship. “Product Stewardship is needed to keep a broad toolbox of active substances and solutions on the market. We need a pro-active approach. We need to listen to farmers. We must encourage them to support sustainable practices.”
He point outs that early establishment of oilseed rape enables effective management of fixed costs and labour. “It also plays an essential role in stewardship.”
“If you establish your oilseed rape crop early and well and also look after soil conditions and cultivations, this is an automatic start to a stewardship programme as it will allow early use of herbicides. Well managed crop protection is part of the solution, not the problem. This should be accompanied by measures to protect biodiversity to maintain the ecosystem in a favourable state.”
Growers should be thinking agronomically, paying attention to soil structure and seedbed preparation, establishing oilseed rape early by the first week of September, avoiding the use of metazachlor on drained land after the end of September and establishing biodiverse vegetative buffer strips.
This advice forms the key messages provided by the BASF and Adama Metazachlor Stewardship campaign, a proactive collaboration with the Voluntary Initiative and industry stakeholders. Additional measures will be added in the 2015/2016 season to avoid or minimise movement of water.
For more on CropTec go to http://www.croptecshow.com