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With maize sowing soon to get underway, Bayer CropScience is reminding farmers about the importance of weed control in maize.

“Maize is not the most competitive crop, so weed control is essential for getting a good yield,” explains Tim Holt of Bayer CropScience.

“This season we are recommending new tank-mix partners for MaisTer WG (foramsulfuron + iodosulfuron) and an alternative application rate to give farmers the flexibility to tackle the specific weed issues on their farm.”

MaisTer WG only became available last year and Agrii’s Western Region Technical Advisor John Vickery was impressed with the results.

“Its activity against a range of grass weeds is very good, last year it showed its strength on black-grass, rye-grass and large meadow grass plants. It also has decent activity against a number of broad-leaved weeds.

“In the autumn, some people even commented on how clean maize stubbles were after using it.”

John works with farmers growing forage and AD maize in the west of England and south Wales, he thinks the new tank mix options will give farmers something extra this season.

“We can now tank-mix Callisto (mesotrione) or Buctril (bromoxynil) to MaisTer WG and Mero (adjuvant) to widen the broad-leaved weed spectrum.

“Both products are effective against a wide range of broad-leaved weeds, although Callisto has some residual activity whereas Buctrill does not.

“With limited residual activity itself, MaisTer WG would ideally be mixed with a residual partner such as Callisto if late flushes of black-nightshade are likely to be an issue. Where crane’s-bill is a particular issue or a faster knockdown is required Buctril could find favour.”

The other change this season is an alternative application rate ­­– you can now apply MaisTer WG from 100g/ha up to the  full rate of 150g/ha.

“The lower rate of MaisTer WG with either Callisto or Buctril is likely to be sufficient for the weed spectrum on many farms,” explains John. “I expect that we’ll use the 150g rate on farms with severe weed populations, for example land with maize as a break-crop to deal with black-grass.”

Against heavy infestations, MaisTer WG should follow a robust pre-emergence spray. Missing a pre-em spray would allow a large number of weeds to get established and limit crop performance.

“Any farmer growing maize for livestock is probably trying to make every penny count, if they do want a one-hit product then MaisTer WG with a tank-mix partner is probably the best on the market,” concludes John.

To get the best control, always use MaisTer WG with the adjuvant Mero, it should be applied from the 2-leaf stage until the 6-leaf stage (GS12–16) of the crop.