Arable farmers have a new tool available this spring to combat tough populations of grass weeds and broad-leaved weeds. Pacifica Plus is a herbicide from Bayer that combines some of the best available chemistry for weed control in wheat crops.
Pacifica Plus is a development of the widely-used Pacifica which has been a vital post-emergence grass weed herbicide for many years. The new product has 30g/kg mesosulfuron and 10g/kg iodosulfuron which provide the grass weed control. Activity against broad-leaved weeds, including cleavers, common chickweed, mayweeds and charlock, comes from the addition of 50g/kg amidosulfuron.
“Growers have changed their approach to spring weed control in recent seasons. Specific black-grass control is focused at the pre-emergence timing in autumn,” explains Ben Coombs, Bayer’s combinable crop herbicide campaign manager. By spring, growers are now often looking to control broader range of grasses and broad-leaved weeds rather than target a contact-acting herbicide just at black-grass or rye-grass.
“Pacifica Plus will do as good a job as anything against the difficult grass weeds, but its wide spectrum of activity means that growers only have to use one product and spray once to complete the spring weed control programme. This will help free up time for the fungicide programme and spring crop establishment which both compete for attention at this time of year.”
Mr Coombs thinks that Pacifica Plus could be particularly valuable this spring following the difficult autumn. “Lots of wheat went in late, lots didn’t get a pre-em and the ground has stayed wet so crops will need a lot of help this spring.” Thin poorly established crops are always vulnerable to weeds of any type, so the broad-spectrum control of Pacifica Plus is likely to be helpful on many farms.
In situations where the target is only grass weeds, growers have the option of using Monolith (mesosulfuron + propoxycarbazone) which has good grass weed activity but with a narrower broad-leaved weed spectrum of Pacifica Plus.
Pacifica Plus can be used from 1 February in winter wheat crops and has the same application requirements as other products in the mesosulfuron family. A dry leaf, active growth and calm conditions are needed so that the active substance lands on the leaf and is taken in by the plant.