Arable units across the country are facing an acute dilemma in
their autumn weed control programmes as a direct result of increasing
time pressures, reveals a national survey of growers responsible
for nearly 125,000 ha of UK cropping.
Some 99% of the 200 growers involved in the survey conducted by
Monsanto over the past month consider it vital to achieve the best
possible seedbed weed control. Yet 87% say they have less time
than ever between harvesting and autumn drilling, and 86% are finding
the summer and autumn weather more variable than it used to be.
“While the overwhelming majority of growers say they have less room for
error in today’s seedbed preparation, more than eight out of every 10 report
they are often having to spray herbicides under less than ideal conditions,” explains
survey co-ordinator, Stephen Beal. “This presents them with a serious dilemma.”
Not surprisingly under these circumstances, 99% of the growers
questioned stress they need herbicides they can rely on to perform
even if conditions are less than ideal.
In particular, they identify their most important non-selective
herbicide needs as the most reliable kill of all weed species;
the greatest environmental and operator safety; the best performance
in hot, cold and dry weather; and the shortest interval between
cultivation and drilling. Interestingly, the cheapest price only
rates seventh on the list
of nine key selection criteria.
“With such acute pressures of time and so little room for error in modern
arable systems, non-selective herbicides clearly have to work harder than ever,” notes
Mr Beal. “So it’s hardly surprising that growers rate performance
under challenging conditions as markedly more important than cost these days.
After all, the cost of getting seedbed weed control wrong is invariably far
greater – in higher in-crop herbicide costs and crop yield losses, not
to mention increasing resistance problems.
“This where modern Roundup formulations based on the latest
patented surfactant technology really score. They’re rainfast
in just one hour on annual weeds and common couch compared with
6 hours (preferably 24) with ordinary glyphosates. They’re
proven to give 20% better control of weeds under hot, dry conditions
and 10% better across-the-board control of tough perennials. And
they allow cultivation after only six hours compared to a minimum
of 24 hours.
“Where reliable seedbed weed control is the key, Roundup undoubtedly
gives growers the vital security they need in today’s high pressure systems,” he
insists. “A fact they are clearly appreciating, with over 70% of all
survey respondents and more than 90% of those naming a product, identifying
Roundup as the herbicide that best meet their modern non-selective weed control
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