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After hearing much about the potential benefits of the Conviso Smart system, Michael Wilton of the Stody Estate, north-east Norfolk decided it was time to trial the system for himself so when he was offered seed for a 1.2 hectares, it was not to be passed up.

“I was specifically interested to see how the Conviso One herbicide would perform compared to a conventional programme based around desmedipham and phenmedipham and I’m pleased to say I was not disappointed,” says Mr Wilton.

He considered all aspects of the herbicide performance and plans to sow a Conviso Smart variety again in 2020 though he is keen to emphasise that it should be used tactically if the benefits it offers are to be properly utilised.

“I was impressed with the level of weed control from just a single application, especially the residual duration which suggests it will deliver better control of weed beet than the cynic in me believed possible,” he says.

“In comparison to our standard practice the Conviso One delivered a comparable level of control against the broad-leaved weed spectrum but was better on grassweeds. There was no difference in crop establishment, but the Conviso Smart crop which received the dedicated herbicide demonstrated greater green leaf retention post-emergence.”

Though his trial did not consider weed beet control per se or that against volunteer potatoes he sees advantages from the Conviso Smart system and the Conviso One herbicide in such situations.

“I can see it appealing to those with weed beet problems, though would implore those considering it to follow the stewardship guidelines relating to bolter management, but also where volunteer potatoes might be an issue as clopyralid can check sugar beet development.  Anything that reduces this risk is to be welcomed,” he says.

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