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Atlantis top 5 tips - what's important when applying Atlantis (press release)

Cambridge, 6, January, 2012 –


Getting an Atlantis WG (mesosulfuron and iodosulfuron) application right has never been so important; not only will superior control maintain your crop’s yield potential but correct application and usage will also help reduce seed return and weed burden in future years. 


Yet there are so many different factors to consider.  That’s why we asked a number of prominent advisers and farmers: “What do you consider most important at this time of year?”


  1. 1.    Spray as soon as weeds show active growth


“Active growth is crucial for the efficacy of all herbicides,” says independent agronomist Sean Sparling.  “Growth indicates that the plant has an active metabolism - the vehicle for active substance uptake. 


“Rates of growth and metabolism fall with atmospheric and soil temperatures, so current conditions prevent Atlantis WG (mesosulfuron and iodosulfuron) applications.  Black-grass growth will be minimal and it’s metabolism will be only enough to sustain life.


“The urgency to spray as soon as weeds show active growth is a result of the plants’ increased ability to break down active substances as it gets bigger.  By targeting black-grass when it is small you are catching it when it is most vulnerable.”


  1. 2.    Prioritise early drilled crops that did not receive autumn planned herbicides and apply when black-grass is still small


Two factors generally dictate which fields Worcestershire farmer Toby Spiers prioritises for Atlantis applications: black-grass pressure and soil type.  But this year, those that didn’t receive a pre-em would be a major concern.


“Black-grass pressure arises from population density, that is, the number of plants per square metre and its resistance.  The larger black-grass becomes, the harder it is to control. By hitting first those fields with high populations that are also resistant, you get these tricky plants when they are at their most vulnerable. 


“It is too risky to let black-grass creep through till spring– it robs the crop of nutrients every day that they are growing - so fields that become waterlogged first also need to be prioritised.


“This year where pre-ems were applied populations were kept down, but where they weren’t the weeds shot through shortly after the first decent shower.” 



  1. 3.     Always apply Atlantis WG at 0.4kg/ha with 1.0l/ha of biopower onto a dry leaf


“If it is black-grass you’re after, reducing the rate of Atlantis will only reduce control,” says Ben Freer, agronomist at NIAB TAG.  “Bayer says that biopower is an intrinsic part of the applications and our trials tend to support this. Other wetters are just not as consistently effective; besides, Atlantis is not supported without biopower.

“It is clearly important to apply to a dry leaf and leave plenty of time for it to dry on, although obviously that is getting harder now, which why we recommend getting Atlantis on at the two leaf stage.”


  1. 4.    Apply a fine to medium spray, ensure boom height is correct for nozzle choice and go no faster than 12kph

Nick Stevens, a farm foreman in Wiltshire and former sprayer operator of the year emphasises the importance of application technique.

“To hit a small target you need to apply Atlantis WG using a fine to medium spray.  I use 03 variable pressure jet nozzles which are a flat fan design, angled forwards and backwards and the set-up includes drift control.

“Keeping the boom down at the correct height for the nozzle choice ensures the correct pattern is achieved and a forward speed of no more than 12kph is essential.  With the 03 variable pressure jet a boom height of 40cm stops the spray from floating away.”

Whilst Atlantis can be applied in up to 200l of water Mr Stevens prefers 100l in order to maintain work rates and optimise dose transfer but he emphasises the importance of getting everything else right.

“100l of water gives the best control but if you’re battling against wind or other compromising factors then 200l provides a margin for error.  This would of course require a different set up, including nozzle choice.”


  1. 5.    Avoid treating stressed crops and pay attention to sequencing guidelines

“It’s easy to forget how genetically close the crop is to the target weed,” says Agrovista agronomist, Nick Mudd.  “And a stressed crop, for whatever reason – drought, waterlogging, frost, nutrient deficiency - is vulnerable to damage.

“It’s worth noting that if a crop is likely to need wheat bulb fly control in spring, at least a four week interval is required between applications of common treatments such as chlorpyrifos.  I have also noticed more crop damage, where liquid fertiliser is applied close to Atlantis applications which I suspect is a result of some dewaxing of the wheat leaf.”



Diana Rees, Tel. no: 01223 226617



Whisper PR, Natalie Reed, Tel no: 01608 637805



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About Bayer CropScience

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience, a subgroup of Bayer AG with annual sales of EUR 6.830 billion (2010), is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and traits. The company offers an outstanding range of products and extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture and for non-agricultural applications. Bayer CropScience has a global workforce of 20,700 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at:


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This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conformthem to future events or developments.