21-03-2014 01:47 AM | Arable, Cereal, Crops, News

Act now to avoid weed menace in cereals this spring



With T1 timing arriving early this spring, Dow AgroSciences is urging farmers to act against broad leaved weeds soon, as weeds and crops romp through the growth stages.

Dow AgroSciences herbicide specialist Stuart Jackson says: “Many winter cereal crops around the country are rapidly approaching growth stage (GS) 30 and others at mid-tillering, depending on drilling date last autumn.

“Best control of broad leaved weeds is achieved by applications before T1, which will be much earlier this year. Farmers need to crack on with broad leaved weed control as soon as possible this April, to ensure they are sprayed by GS31.

“Fields that were drilled early and received a comprehensive grass weed control programme will face less challenge from broad leaved weeds than those drilled late, with little or no residual herbicides.”


Priority should be given to late-drilled crops and those where no residual was applied. In these crops, broad leaved weeds are likely to be present in large numbers growing away fast. Brassica weeds, volunteer beans, groundsel, speedwells, cleavers and poppies all pose a threat to yield and quality. Applying SPITFIRE (florasulam + fluroxypyr) at 0.75 L/ha will provide effective control of a wide range of broad leaved weeds, however if poppies are a significant issue, increase the rate to 1 L/ha and apply with a recommended adjuvant.

Where a residual was applied, broad leaved weed control is fairly effective this year. However, cleavers still pose a threat that can cause significant loss of yield and quality. Fields should be walked to check levels of infestation. SPITFIRE applied at 0.75 L/ha will provide good control.

SPITFIRE delivers robust results in the fluctuating temperatures so often experienced during spring. The fluroxypyr works well in warm conditions while florasulam is effective under colder conditions. What matters is applying to actively growing weeds.

“As well as effective weed control, SPITFIRE offers convenience,” says Mr Jackson. “The range of products, particularly fungicides, that SPITFIRE can be tank mixed with, is very extensive. This will help save time in what is going to be a very busy spring season.”

The product is rain-fast within one hour – a critical factor during changeable spring weather.

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