Agronomy Update – 16 July 2014

In this Edition

Post-harvest cultural control of Bromes
Top and treat in 2-3 weeks
Forefront T stewardship forms
ASTROKerb used on oilseed rape?
Dock control sequences with DoxstarPro or Pastor
This Edition’s FAQ:   Can I treat weeds in grass in the autumn?
Dates for the diary


Post-harvest cultural control of Bromes

If bromes are becoming a problem on your farm, the first step to getting better control across the rotation is to identify the species. The Anisantha types have long awns and large drooping panicles (flowering heads), whilst the Bromus types have short awns and tighter, upright panicles.


 Sterile (or Barren) Brome
(Anisantha sterilis)

This is the most common species in the UK



Great brome
(Anisantha diandrus)
Great brome
      Meadow brome
(Bromus commutatus)
Meadow brome
 Soft brome
(Bromus hordeaceous)
Soft brome
Rye brome
(Bromus secalinus)


Accurate identification is vital as the two species types, Anisantha and Bromus do vary in their seed maturity at harvest. Their varying germination patterns can also make herbicide timings within a crop difficult, particularly so when both are present, so taking advantage of cultural control is vital.

For Anisantha species (sterile and great brome):

  • Seeds are ripe at harvest.
  • Exposure to light induces dormancy, so plough for good control.
  • If there is not a good cover of chopped straw covering seeds on the soil surface, shallow cultivate as soon as possible after harvest, to bury seeds and encourage germination.
  • Spray off seedlings with glyphosate pre-drilling.
  • Delaying drilling will significantly improve control.
  • Stale seedbeds will only be effective if soil is sufficiently moist. 

For Bromus species (meadow, rye and soft brome):

  • Seeds often under-ripe at harvest.
  • Seed burial immediately after harvest induces dormancy, so increases seed survival.
  • Leave seeds to ripen on soil surface for 1 month before cultivating.
  • Shallow cultivate after a month, then spray off emerged seedlings with glyphosate.

HGCA have produced an excellent guide on bromes, Identification and control of brome grasses.



At this time of the year brambles, Rubus fruticosa, can be 2-3 metres long and once established difficult to eradicate. Of course they provide valuable autumn berries for wild-life but if left unchecked can rapidly spread out from hedgerows into fields where they interfere with management.

Some arrive from seed but most establish where the tips of stems root. Digging-out roots, although hard work can be one method of control but as they can regenerate well below soil level this needs to be done thoroughly. Prickly stems can also make this a painful job.

Alternatively this time of year presents the opportunity to use GrazonPro® for control with a knapsack. This is best used June-August when brambles are actively growing. Wear suitable protective clothing when handing and measuring the concentrate and whilst spraying; gloves, coveralls and rubber boots are essential. Face protection (face shield) is needed when handling the concentrate.

It’s good practice to keep other people and pets out of treated areas for at least two hours until spray has dried on the leaf. Keep grazing stock (including hens!) out for 7 days after spraying.

Don’t be tempted to cut brambles back post-spraying; ideally wait for 28 days to maximize translocation down to the roots.

You may find our Knapsack weed control guide  helpful.

GrazonPro will also control broom and gorse. It also has good activity on hawthorn and sycamore and will give some control of birch and blackthorn.

For boom sprayers, although not on label Forefront® T (sheep/cattle grazing only) will offer good control of brambles; Pastor®, DoxstarPro®  and Thistlex®  also may offer some activity.

Blaster® Pro controls brambles in amenity grassland. Dow AgroSciences also sell other products for amenity areas which control brambles as well as other difficult invasive weeds such as  Japanese Knotweed.


Top and treat in 2-3 weeks

It’s now high summer and perennial grassland weeds like docks, thistles and nettles are flowering or have flowered. For these perennial weeds, rather than attempt to do a half-decent job by treating today, it’s much better to top and treat the re-growth in 2-3 weeks. This applies to both knapsack applications with GrazonPro, as well as tractor- mounted spraying including Forefront T.

Forefront T stewardship forms

 If you are a stewardship-trained agronomist able to recommend Forefront T, please return completed stewardship forms to Dow AgroSciences via your business focal point within your company or direct to Sacha Shepherd at Dow AgroSciences Ltd, Latchmore Court, Brand Street, Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1NH.

Just as a reminder please ensure Forefront T is only used where the production of manure is minimised and this manure is returned to grass .i.e. cattle and sheep grazing only.


ASTROKerb used on Rape?

If you have used ASTROKerb® please ensure oilseed rape straw stays on the field and not baled and carted off.


Dock control sequences with DoxstarPro or Pastor

Sequences of DoxstarPro or Pastor are supported for dock control by Dow AgroSciences. If you have used half-rate DoxstarPro or Pastor earlier this spring, do remember to top-up with the remaining half-dose for efficacy. Treating docks 2-3 weeks post-cut is ideal as docks will have fresh, even re-growth which is readily receptive to spraying. Docks are best treated at the rosette stage.

Treatment is best made when docks are actively growing (but for Pastor must be completed by 31st Ocober). Apply with a water volume of 300 L/ha. If weed numbers are high or if the sward is dense, increase to 400 L/ha. 


This edition’s FAQ:

Can I treat weeds in grass in the autumn?

Yes. September is an ideal month for weed control in grassland.Weeds such as docks, dandelion, buttercup, and thistles have got flowering out of the way and are back into leafy growth and make an excellent target. In addition as the weeds start to prepare for winter, they are actively translocating down to the roots so the herbicide will be taken down there too.

Autumn control is an excellent opportunity for farmers to lessen the weed burden for the following spring which can help with farm workload and ease herbicide timings especially where you will be shutting up grass for silage and hay.

Forefront T can be used this autumn following a silage or hay cut this year. However no further cuts may be taken this year (cattle or sheep grazing only) and if a cut is taken in 2015 this forage must stay on the farm and any manure from stock fed this forage must stay on the farm and go back to grass.


Dates for the diary

If you have questions or queries relating to any of our products or would like to speak to one of us face to face, come and visit us at your local event.

July 30th NSA Sheep Event, Malvern
Sept 10th Tillage Live 2014, Down Ampney, Gloucs
Nov 19th AgriScot, Ingliston
Nov 19th-20th Croptec, Peterborough



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If you require any further information please contact our technical Hotline on 0800 689 8899 or your local Dow AgroSciences representative.

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ASTROKerb contains aminopyralid and propyzamide.
BlasterPro contains clopyralid and triclopyr.
DoxstarPro contains fluroxypyr and triclopyr.
Forefront T contains aminopyralid and triclopyr.
GrazonPro contains clopyralid and triclopyr.
Pastor contains clopyralid, fluroxypyr and triclopyr.
Thistlex contains clopyralid and triclopyr.


Dow AgroSciences Limited, Latchmore Court, Brand Street, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, SG5 1NH.Tel: +44 (0) 1462 457272. Technical Hotline: 0800 689 8899 | |

Good opportunity to spray dock regrowth between cuts



Agronomy Update – 20 June 2014

In this Edition

Get grain stores ready for harvest!
Water volume and grassland herbicide efficacy
Post-cut weed control in grass
Top tips for treating thistles
Forefront T Stewardship Forms
ASTROKerb used on oilseed rape?
Mapping patches of broad-leaved weeds

This Editions FAQ:
- How safe are Dow AgroSciences’ grassland products to grass?

Dates for the Diary

Trials show benefits of tactical cultivation and crop rotations for grassweed control

The benefits of a tactical approach to grassweed control, including ploughing, crop rotation and a full herbicide programme are being clearly demonstrated in a Dow AgroSciences rotational grassweed trial in Warwickshire.

The trial, now in its fourth year, assesses the difference that rotating cultivation practices and crops, along with herbicide programmes makes to blackgrass, ryegrass and brome control in winter wheat and oilseed rape (OSR).

Take every option to tackle grassweeds this autumn, says Dow AgroSciences

With the current season, one of the worst ever for blackgrass infestations, growers should be planning to take advantage of every option available to bring this and other grassweeds under control in autumn 2014, says Dow AgroSciences Stuart Jackson.

Harvest 2013 saw above average blackgrass populations after appalling winter conditions. However, early drilling into dry conditions in autumn 2013 saw herbicides run out of steam, whilst later sown crops did not receive full herbicide programmes.