2013-02-01 xml
Less Choice for Killing Docks and Thistles in 2013

Increasingly strict EU and national regulations will limit the choice of herbicides farmers have for controlling perennial weeds such as docks and thistles in grassland this year, according to herbicide manufacturer Dow AgroSciences.

“Each pesticide goes through a re-approval process every ten years, when it is re-assessed for aspects such as operator safety and risk to the environment,” explains Dow AgroScience’s grassland agronomist David Roberts.


Farmers will have less options for spraying weeds in grassland

“The tests that the active ingredients and branded products are put through are more stringent now, and often require new datasets to be generated. This is a particular challenge for older products where registration packages may be reliant on figures generated ten or even 20 years ago, or where levels of sales are small. For some products, the financial investment cannot be justified and they are withdrawn from the market.”

Products lost
A number of well-known herbicides have been lost in recent years. This includes the use of straight CMPP on grassland, asulam (sold as Asulox) and Alistell for use on new-sown leys.

“This strengthening of requirements has seen a switch to the use of products based on newer chemistry,” says Mr Roberts.

“Translocated herbicides containing active ingredients such as triclopyr and clopyralid, offer a more reliable solution for controlling perennial weeds in grassland than many of those that have been lost. Also they will not hold back grass growth.

“This year weed control will be a greater priority for livestock farmers, as many fields could not be sprayed last year due to the wet weather. Poor ground conditions have also led to patchy open swards, which is an open invitation for docks, thistles and nettles to establish this spring and summer.”

Dow AgroSciences has a very active presence globally in the grassland market and continues to invest in new approvals and formulations. For example, DoxstarPro is now available; a new more concentrated formulation of Doxstar which will control broadleaved and curled docks in grazing and silage ground.

GrazonPro is another new formulation to be launched in 2013, replacing Grazon 90. This is a key product for the market, as there are now very few left that have specific approval for application via hand-held equipment.

Thistlex and Pastor will also have updated labels this year reflecting their recent re-approval for use at national level (known as Annex III). Thistlex is an effective translocated product for thistle control. Pastor is a utility product for use where a wide spectrum of weeds, including docks, nettles and thistles, is present.


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