Use this autumn’s good seedbed conditions to your advantage to get a head start against black-grass now that drilling has started, winter wheat growers are being urged.
Make the most of good seedbed conditions for getting on top of black-grass seed germination this season, growers are being urged.
The preparation of firm, fine seedbeds should help get better results from soil-acting pre-emergence herbicides, where there’s sufficient soil moisture, says Syngenta technical manager Stephen Williams.
That, in turn, should ease the pressure on follow-up post-emergence herbicide chemistry, he adds, which is especially useful where there are concerns about resistance.
“There’s no doubt we’re seeing some fantastic seedbeds being prepared in parts of the country this season,” says Mr Williams, “probably aided by good levels of soil moisture.
“Better seedbeds help to encourage more even black-grass germination during the period of activity of residual herbicides, rather than delayed flushes.
“Also, finer seedbeds allow more even coverage of pre-emergence sprays over the soil surface, rather than leaving inaccessible areas in and around clods.
“And lastly, the availability of good soil moisture should aid weed germination and so herbicide uptake,” he points out.
“All this said, it will still be essential to use robust pre-emergence herbicides and to apply them properly if growers are to reap the full benefits,” says Mr Williams, “with trial plots by ADAS last season showing over 80% pre-emergence control was possible using robust rates of prosulfocarb (Defy) mixed with either flufenacet / pendimethalin or flufenacet / diflufenican – compared with less than 25% where some straight treatments were used.
“Also our own trials have shown that pre-emergence black-grass control can be boosted around 10% where specialist Defy nozzles are used.
“Failing to capitalise on good seedbeds this season would be a real shame for growers,” he adds.
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