26 April 2015 | Online since 2003



7 August 2014|Grassland,News

Still chance to spray persistent weeds in grassland


15% dock infestation Newtyle

Perennial weeds like docks and thistles are more visible than usual in grass fields at the moment. Dry conditions have slowed down grass growth, but the deeper-rooted weeds are still reaching water and thriving.

“The rapid start to the grass growing season caught many farmers out and they missed the opportunity to spray the weeds before first cut,” says grassland agronomist David Roberts of Dow AgroSciences. “A lot of land was left untreated, which is why there are so many about now.

‘Other reasons are that some farmers then topped the weeds to try and get rid of them – but this will only ever give temporary relief as the roots stay intact. Or where fields were treated, the use of products based on old chemistry or poor application technique may be to blame.”

Newtyle headland treated



Mr. Roberts suggests walking the fields now to identify the worst affected areas, then spray from mid-August through to September.

“Spraying in very dry conditions is not the right time to treat perennial weeds,” says Mr. Roberts. “They should be mown down as a precursor to spraying fresh regrowth in three or four weeks time. This means the leaves will be at the ideal stage for maximum uptake of the herbicide and translocation to the root system.

“Where there is a range of weeds, choose a highly effective broad-spectrum product like Pastor, or Forefront T – which can be used on grazing fields, or after the last cut of the season on silage ground. Forefront T is only available through a BASIS qualified agronomist, who will be able to give advice on application technique to achieve the highest level of control.

“Doing a really good job on docks and thistles this year will reduce the need to spray again next spring, helping manage the workload at a busy time of year,” Mr. Roberts added.

Spraying at the right time and mixing the herbicide in the correct volume of water, has made a big difference to dock control at Hatton Farm, near Newtyle in Perthshire.

Arable and beef farmer Sandy Stewart has always hated the sight of docks in his silage leys, but had been struggling to get on top of them until this year.

Walking the fields this spring with Iain Sampson, Dow AgroSciences weed specialist based in Scotland, he realised he had been treating too early and not using enough water volume/ha with the sprayer.

“Docks are a real problem,” says Mr. Stewart, who farms 344ha (850 acres) with half down to arable crops and the rest a mix of permanent pasture and rotational grass. A suckler herd of 120 Simmental cross cows produces store cattle, which are sold at 15 months.

“In some fields I reckon docks were covering at least 5% of the area – so there was less grass growing than there should have been. It also looked terrible, and there was always a danger their tough stalks would puncture the plastic on the silage bales. We just had to get on top of them."

As a trial, the headland of one badly infested field was sprayed with 2l/ha of DoxstarPro on 14 May, in 400l of water to allow good coverage. The docks were at rosette stage, with several young fresh leaves growing about 15-25cm across and tall.

“First cut was delayed because of the rain until 16 June, so the spray had a good month to do its job,” said Mr. Stewart. “The headland is now completely clear of docks. You can see a real difference between the sprayed and not-sprayed areas.

“I learnt a great deal from Iain in terms of how to apply the herbicide for best results. We’ll be treating more of the silage fields at the right time, with DoxstarPro next spring.”

Download




Comments


No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


14 April 2015
Apprentice Dairy Farm Hand
East Browns Farm and Langtree Farm are both Dairy farms located in Torrington, are involved in caring for Belgium Blue Calveh...

21 April 2015
Production Supervisor / Butchery / Meat Manufacturing
With excellent written and verbal communication skills and excellent analytical and numerical capability you will have the ab...

24 April 2015
Agronomist
Experience of working in farm management or a similar field would be highly desirable. Our Agronomists play a key role in fac...

24 April 2015
Modern Apprenticeship: Trainee Assistant Trials Officer (Fixed term)
Our ambitious and exciting vision is to work at local, national and international levels, leading innovation and sustainable ...

10 April 2015
UK (south) and Export manager
There are also accounts in the Defence, Aerospace, Agriculture and Leisure sectors, as the applications for these products ar...



Top stories you may have missed
10 April 2015 | Agri Safety

The permanent eradication of Bovine Viral Diarrhoea [BVD] in Scottish cattl...


10 April 2015 | Dairy

The abolition of milk quotas in Europe on 1st April has resulted in a numbe...


10 April 2015 | Cattle

The top 14 milk producing countries in Europe will increase their productio...


10 April 2015 | News

Matt Ware is the NFU's head of government and parliamentary affairs, based ...


10 April 2015 | Arable

There is a 'desperate need' to improve farmgate returns given low incomes a...


9 April 2015 | Arable

Rapid stem extension, after a slow start to spring, is likely to create spl...


9 April 2015 | Finance

The time has come for landlords to expect to see reductions in farm rents, ...


8 April 2015 | Cattle

Cogent’s reputation as a source of the highest calibre sires has been enhan...


8 April 2015 | Arable

The spread of exotic and aggressive strains of a plant fungus is presenting...


7 April 2015 | Animal Health

The FSA’s new Food Crime Unit wants the industry to share information, some...