Top 10 tips - for grass-weed control
Increasingly complex grass-weed problems mean it is essential to use pre-emergence herbicides, but along with increasing efficacy comes increased risk. Paying detailed attention to planning and executing a pre-emergence herbicide programme will help you maximise the reward while minimising the risk.
Choosing your products: Mixing or “Stacking� pre-ems can significantly increase herbicide performance but can also increase the risk of crop damage.
- Fallowing in the worst affected fields can reduce black-grass by up to 70% – Research shows, the black-grass seed bank can be depleted by 70-80% in the first year after seed has shed
- Removing excess straw or trash from the field helps residual herbicide contact with the soil – This may help to increase weed control, allowing the product to reach the soil surface
- Ploughing reduces black-grass by up to 69% – This buries freshly-shed seeds so they can't germinate significantly, reducing heavy black-grass in the next crop
- Delay drilling (from mid-September to early October) reduces black-grass emergence in the crop – Giving more time to apply a glyphosate, increasing the effectiveness of your pre-drilling herbicide control
- Drilling higher seed rates reduces black-grass head numbers by up to 26% – This gives weeds the minimum amount of space to establish themselves
- Growing more competitive crop varieties reduces black-grass by up to 22% – This can significantly improve your black-grass control
- Careful application of your pre-emergence product ensures even coverage – An appropriate spray quality and volume will ensure even coverage of soil surface and maximise efficacy
- Timing is critical to get the best out of a post-emergence herbicide such as Atlantis WG – By spraying when black-grass has reached the 1-3 leaf stage, is actively growing and the majority has emerged - usually in the autumn
- Tank-mixing a post-emergence herbicide with a strong residual partner improves black-grass control from autumn applications – This could increase your black-grass control and catch any late emerging black-grass plants
- Sowing a spring crop in the worst affected fields can reduce black-grass by up to 88% – This gives further opportunities to control black-grass, providing around 88% control in a winter wheat based rotation
After you spray:
Even with the best planning, the conditions following application (especially heavy rain) can be conducive to crop damage, but this is normally transitory and the crop will recover with no long-term adverse effect.