1. Pre-emergence chemistry is the key to successful black-grass control in cereal crops – ensure you get this step of the program right with Liberator as the cornerstone of the program.
Weeds are most vulnerable at the time of germination. Liberator acts on both the roots and leaves of emerging black-grass and stops it dead. Trial results and on-farm experience show that Liberator consistently provides 60–95% control depending on weather and ground conditions.
2. The true pre-emergence timing always produces the most consistent weed control, waiting for peri-em can be a lottery, sometimes it works well, but sometimes it’s too late and black-grass control is reduced.
Returning to spray within 48 hours of drilling guarantees the best efficacy of pre-em products. Results from trials consistently show that the true pre-em timing is the most reliable for getting good levels of control. In bad black-grass situations, if you can’t spray don’t drill as it squanders one of the best opportunities to reduce black-grass populations.
3. Soil moisture is needed for Liberator to make contact with germinating weed seeds to take effect – if it’s bone dry, wait for moisture before drilling!
Moisture allows Liberator to be mobile in the soil and take effect on germinating seeds. When late drilling in the second half of October, it would be an unusual year to have insufficient moisture but at earlier drilling timings it is worth checking conditions just below the surface.
4. Some straw on the surface isn’t an issue for pre-em herbicides but it needs to be chopped and evenly spread.
Residues can conceivably create a barrier to pre-ems reaching the soil where they take effect. However, after a typical chop and spread this isn’t a problem because there is still plenty of exposed soil. When pre-ems do land on straw, they do not bind so will wash down to the soil at some point.