Maize has increased its area from around 160,000 hectares in 2010 to close to 200,000 hectares anticipated this year. This increase may be as a consequence of the Three-Crop Rule or to spread the workload or to introduce another break crop on the farm in order to get rid of difficult to control weeds. The majority of maize, according to the June Census 2014, is fodder maize, but there is an increasing area of maize that is grown for AD plants. Last year 17% of the total maize planted (or 29,373 hectares) was grown for this purpose.
Leaving broad-leaved weeds untreated in winter cereals could be a recipe for yield disaster, warns Dow AgroSciences, as difficult spring weather creates spray window headaches for growers across the country.
With changeable weather, limited spray days and a range of products to apply, before both timing and growth stages are passed, a herbicide product with flexibility and proven control is a must, says Stuart Jackson, Dow AgroSciences’ herbicide expert.
Game cover crops don’t just happen, but need careful managing, with weed control being an essential part of this management. Dow AgroSciences has responded to queries on their Hotline last year and have now got an extended timing application for the Extension of Authorisation for Minor Uses (EAMU) for the use of the herbicide Dow Shield 400 in crops grown for game cover.
Getting on top of broad-leaved weed control, without increasing the risk of resistance to sulphonyl urea (SU) herbicides is the challenge faced by Northern and Scottish spring cereals growers this season.
With the downward pricing trend of sugar beet, growers need to focus on doing what is absolutely necessary, but with the main focus of getting as much tonnage off the field as possible. Sugar beet develops slowly and is a very uncompetitive crop early on, allowing weeds to flourish and compete. Weeds with a high biomass, such as volunteer potatoes and thistles, will impede crop growth and shade the canopy, blocking out sunlight and having a significantly detrimental effect on yield. Other sugar beet crops have more straight forward and physically smaller weed problems such as polygonums and mayweeds, which will need controlling, too.