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Welcome to the Grassland and Maize Agronomy Update from DowDuPont. With the merger of Dow AgroSciences, DuPont Crop Protection and DuPont Pioneer, this newsletter now covers maize as well as all things grassland.
These regular technical notes are a seasonal commentary to help those interested in improving grassland and forage productivity on dairy, beef, sheep and equestrian enterprises.
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- Thistles in established grass
- ‘Fire brigade’ treatments
- Invasive weeds
- Rejuvenation with Forefront T
- Forefront T Stewardship via the app
- The Decision Tree tool on the app
- New grass leys
- Grassland shows calendar
Thistles in established grass
Creeping thistle thrived in the wet summer last year and the consequences are being seen this year. With many thistles now being a metre high or more and starting to flower, now is a good time to tackle them before they set and spread their seed.
Tall, flowering thistles need to be cut down first, as they are too big and not at the right vegetative stage to be sprayed with translocated herbicides. Then left for three weeks to regrow, the fresh leaves will be big enough to provide the ideal target for a spray.
Where thistles are the main problem, Thistlex® is the best product to use. If there is a broader range of weeds involved, then Pas·Tor Agronomy Pack is a good option. Alternatively use Forefront® T in grazing only situations or after the last hay or silage cut. If the population of thistles is less than 5%, spot treatment with Grazon®Pro is more cost effective.
All of these products will offer excellent control of all species of thistles (including spear, creeping and marsh). By controlling thistles now, the area of grass available to stock this year will increase (reduced ‘shadow’ effect), the number of new plants germinating from seed this year can be reduced and the level of weeds present in the grass next spring can also be reduced.
Topping thistles gives only temporary reprieve, especially with creeping thistles as they produce more stems from buds running below ground after cutting.
‘Fire Brigade’ Treatments
In an ideal world, all weed control would be carried out in a timely manner. However, in reality other jobs such as caring for livestock, or unsuitable weather conditions at the correct timing for weed control, means that weeds get out of hand, and remedial action is needed. Where weeds have grown past the ideal vegetative growth stage and are in the process of flowering, application of herbicides at this timing will result in reduced levels of control. The best course of action is to top them (this re-energises perennial weeds to resume vegetative growth), allow them to regrow for approximately three weeks and then spray the leafy regrowth.
A land occupier has a responsibility to prevent invasive non-native plants on their land from spreading into the wild, and to prevent them from spreading on to a neighbour’s property.
Invasive non-native plants are species which have been introduced to the UK that have the ability to outcompete our native flora. Species such as Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam and giant hogweed are listed under schedule 9 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1980, Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed are classified as controlled waste.
Invasive weeds native to the UK include ragwort, gorse and bramble.
For further information on controlling native and non-native invasive weeds see our Invasive Weed Control Leaflet.
Pasture Rejuvenation with Forefront T
Forefront T is a unique herbicide giving lasting control of all major grassland broad-leaved weeds. Forefront T can transform a weedy ley into a productive pasture allowing grass species to win through. When coupled with over seeding then permanent pastures can be rejuvenated, giving them a longer life.
Clover can be drilled four months after application
Forefront T can be used on silage fields AFTER the last cut of silage has been taken.
|Before application of Forefront T
||After application of Forefront T
If a field, cut for hay or silage is treated with Forefront T, sufficient herbicide residue remains in the grass which when eaten and passed out by the animal can, if the manure is used on sensitive crops, cause some damage. This is why the label use is for grazing ground only. Ensuring the end user knows this reduces the risk that third parties might be affected.
Forefront T stewardship via the Dow Grassland App
All Forefront T stewardship recommendations are now recorded via the Dow Grassland App as the paper stewardship pads are no longer in use.
To use the app for stewardship, register on the app as an advisor. You will need to be BASIS qualified and have completed Forefront T stewardship training. If you are an agronomist and you wish to receive Stewardship training, please contact your local representative, or the technical hotline on 0800 6898899.
For those Agronomists who are already suitably trained, but who have not yet used the Grassland App for Stewardship reasons, here is a helpful reminder of what you need to do
- Click on the Stewardship button
- Click on the + symbol in the top right of the screen to add the farmer client details
- Once their details have been added, save to return to your Agronomist Client Portal
- Click on the farmer’s name
- Enter the area (in hectares) to be sprayed in the white box
- Click send to send the stewardship to the farmer
- The farmer receives a Forefront T Stewardship Guidelines email from the email address firstname.lastname@example.org
- To acknowledge, the farmer clicks on the link in the email
- NB: to prompt the agronomist’s version of the app to update the farmer’s status from ‘pending’ to ‘accepted’ after the email has been accepted, you may need to swipe to close the app, and then reopen
- Once the farmer has accepted, an email is sent to the farmer, the agronomist, and the distributor if applicable, enabling the Forefront T to be released to the farmer
The Dow Grassland App is available free for iOS, android and as a web version for use on a pc.
Horse paddocks often become overrun with weeds, meaning there is less grass for the animals to eat and the field can look messy. While horses relish mixed swards to graze, weeds such as buttercups, docks, dandelions, daisies and plantains limit the amount of grass available.
Spraying fields with a product such as Envy™ offers a quick and easy fix. Any manure subsequently produced from treated paddocks will be free of herbicide residues and can be used in gardens or on allotments.
While Envy is rainfast in only two hours, horses do need to be taken out of the field for seven days after treatment* – which is a lot less time than for many herbicides.
*In the absence of ragwort
If paddock owners want to apply herbicide with a knapsack sprayer, around fence-lines or gates, GrazonPro is one of a limited number of products that can be applied using this method. It gives excellent control of docks, thistles, nettles and also brambles, gorse and broom.
As Envy and GrazonPro are classed as Professional Use Pesticides. This means they can be bought by anyone, but can only be applied by people who have completed a relevant City and Guilds/National Proficiency Test Council (NPTC) course.
Most paddock owners will contract out their spraying to local certified farmers or contractors. To help find one visit www.naac.co.uk or use the find a spray contractor feature in the support tools section of the Dow Grassland App.
The decision tree tool on the app
The latest iOS version of the Dow Grassland App now contains a decision tree. Android and web-based versions will be updated shortly. The decision tree tool gives users more options to find the best solution. Users can select the primary weed problem, plus a secondary weed if required, whether grass is newly sown or established, the size of weeds present, the spray application method that will be used, and the grass usage, ie grazing or cutting. The app then finds the best solutions for that particular scenario.
New grass leys
Many new leys were sown late this year. Some will need spraying now to control the weeds that are competing with the young grass. Leystar™ and Envy, both newly registered last year are amongst the few products to have approval for weed control in new sown leys.
Leystar can be used up to 31st August and Envy up to 30th November.
With no chemical control options now available for reducing frit fly and leather jacket populations, careful planning to establish an autumn sown ley is required now.
Leave as much time as possible between destroying the previous grass crop and sowing the new one to reduce the threat from frit fly and leather jackets.
Q: What is the best herbicide to use to control brambles?
A: Brambles should be sprayed between June and August, when plants are actively growing, but before plants begin to die back in the autumn. It is essential that all foliage is thoroughly wetted, or incomplete kill may result. The maximum concentration must not exceed 60ml of GrazonPro per 10 litres of water.
Q: Will any Dow AgroSciences product control ragwort in horse paddocks?
A: No Dow AgroSciences product is recommended for control of ragwort in horse paddocks. The best method of control is to dig them up. 2,4-D can be used as an overall spray.
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For further information please contact the Technical Hotline on 0800 689 8899 / UKHotline@dow.com or go to www.grassbites.co.uk.
Use plant protection products safely. Always read the label and product information before use. For further information including warning phrases and symbols refer to label.
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Envy contains fluroxypyr and florasulam
Forefront T contains aminopyralid and triclopyr
GrazonPro contains triclopyr and clopyralid
Leystar contains fluroxypyr, florasulam and clopyralid
Pas·Tor Agronomy Pack contains clopyralid, fluroxypyr and triclopyr
Thistlex contains clopyralid and triclopyr
Corteva AgriScience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, CPC2, Capital Park, Fulbourn, Cambridge, CB21 5XE. Tel: +44 (0) 1462 457272.