Grassland Agronomy Update – April 2017

Welcome to the Grassland Agronomy Update from Dow AgroSciences.

These regular technical notes are a seasonal commentary to help those interested in improving grassland productivity on dairy, beef, sheep & equestrian enterprises.

You can claim 2 CPD points for subscribing to this email update.


  • Time to spray docks
  • Spray buttercups with Envy
  • Clean start for new-sown leys
  • A new herbicide option for maize
  • It’s the Dow Grassland APP for Forefront T stewardship
  • FAQs
  • Dow AgroSciences show calendar

Time to spray docks before first cut silage

A mild winter and warm spring days means that docks are well established and growing well. Plan dock sprays now – particularly on fields destined for silage.

Last year April was very wet so many dock problems in silage fields were not sprayed. Given this and the mild winter docks are going to be a problem.

Right size to spray

Use full label rates to secure the lasting levels of control sought by farmers and lessen the need for follow up sprays.

Ideal size is about 20 cm cross – dinner-plate sized.

Doxstar®Pro translocates exceptionally well meaning it gets right down into the roots. It takes three to four weeks to do this and have a lasting effect.

Applications made in early to mid-April will get rid of the weeds well ahead of first cut, giving the grass a chance to re-colonize the space left by the dead weeds.

Water volumes can be dropped to 200 L/ha if using air inclusion nozzles.

DoxstarPro is very safe to grass – still the top concern for grassland farmers who spray herbicides.

Stock withdrawal period is just 7 days.

DoxstarPro will kill clover so if present and the decision is made to remove the docks then plan to reintroduce clover six weeks later.

Which dock product?

DoxstarPro: If docks are the only problem save dandelions or chickweed

Forefront®T: if the dock population is very high and they have been well established for many years or if other weeds notably thistles, buttercups, nettles or dandelions are also present. Use on grazing fields. Use on hay and silage fields after the last cut has been taken.

Pas.Tor® Agronomy Pack: This replaces Pastor®Pro so use where docks, thistles or nettles are present. Each pack treats 2 hectares and will deliver a level of weed control that equates to 3 L/ha of PastorPro.

Spray buttercups with Envy

Buttercups ready for treatment

Buttercups are now ready for treatment. Best results are achieved if sprayed before flowering. Envy®, a new product for grassland kills them and will also control dandelions.

Envy contains florasulam and fluroxypyr. Together they deliver excellent control of weeds found in pastures which typically get over grazed, receive minimal nitrogen or have poorly competing grass species present.

  • Envy controls buttercups, plantains, daisies, common chickweed, mouse eared chickweed and charlock
  • Envy has no manure management restrictions so is ideal for use in horse/pony paddocks where manure is often picked and used elsewhere. It will kill clover, which is often an advantage in equestrian situations where it is not wanted.
  • Envy has a short 7 day stock withdrawal period so animals can return quickly
  • Envy is very safe to grass and won’t hold back its growth

Treat when green

Buttercups are best controlled when they are still green and leafy and before the main flowering period. You will still get control during flowering but for the best effect treat now.

Establish with clients now if there are buttercup populations that warrant control. If so then treat with Envy at 2.0 L/ha.

Envy is a professional use product so must be applied by someone with an appropriate certification to spray. For some farmers and more likely equestrian businesses the services of a spray contractor will be required. The Dow Grassland APP has a feature to help find one.

Envy is sold is a 3 litre pack and applied at 2.0 L/ha will treat 1.5ha (3.7 acres).

Clean start for new-sown leys with Leystar

Investing in a new-sown ley can cost up to £500/ha or more so it’s vital that where weeds are present they are removed as that cost ratchets up more if you get it wrong.

Taking out a proportion of the grass on a farm for a new ley takes commitment and planning to ensure enough grass is left to feed the animals while the new ley comes up to a productive level.

LeystarRecent market research show farmers have concerns about poor establishment and the cost of reseeding. It’s vital then to embrace solutions to maximize success.

There are very few herbicides approved for use on new sown leys so Leystar®, new this year, will be much valued for the significant range of weeds that it controls including chickweed, fat hen and seedling docks and seedling thistles.

With three active ingredients – including fluroxypyr, clopyralid and the new grassland active ingredient florasulam, it is particularly safe to use on young grass.

  • Spray once three grass leaves have appeared
  • It is a suspension emulsion formulation
  • Apply at 1.0 L/ha any time from 1st February to 31st August.
  • Comes in a 2 litre pack that treats two hectares (five acres)
  • Apply in 200 litres of water
  • Rainfast in two hours

For best results apply when the weeds are small and actively growing. Be aware, that broad-leaved weeds not present at spraying will not be controlled.

Farmers should not roll or harrow the grass ten days before or seven days after application. They should not spray where clover is a valued constituent of the sward. Clover can be seeded in 3 months post application of Leystar.

Spraying with Leystar early in the sward’s life will ensure a good clean start, allowing the grass mixtures to establish quickly with no competition from weeds.

Click here for the technical information sheet on Leystar.

A new herbicide option for Maize

Leystar can be used on maize and will control many broad leaved weeds that emerge post sowing.

Weed competition at the early stage of the maize crops can significantly affect its potential. A very broad spectrum weed control solution that can also be used in new sown leys will prove an attractive option for livestock farmers.

  • In addition to weeds mentioned above, it will control, black nightshade, bindweed & knotgrass. For a full list of weeds see the Leystar technical information sheet.
  • Apply between the third and sixth leaf stage and before the crop is more than 20 cm tall. It must not be applied once the buttress roots have started to develop on the first node.
  • Application window is currently from 10th April to 31st May. Dow AgroSciences is working to extend this end date for 2018.
  • Grass can be sown after the maize has been harvested within the year of treatment with no adverse effect.
  • The dose rate is the same as for new sown leys; at 1 litre/ha applied is 200 litres/ha of water.

It’s the Dow Grassland App for Forefront T stewardship

We’ve gone digital for speed and efficiency. All Forefront T stewardship guidance to end users must be logged via the APP or via the stewardship feature on the web:

The Forefront T stewardship pad is no longer part of this process.

For further support contact your local Dow AgroSciences representative or call Hotline on 0800 689 8899

Download the Dow Grassland App, by using one of these links:
App Store / Google Play / Windows Store

If the App is already downloaded, please ensure the latest version is being used.


Q. When can silage be cut if Forefront T is going to be used this spring?
A. Forefront T should NOT be used on grass destined for silage in the year of its application. It can be used in a silage field after the last cut of silage has been taken. Grass from that field can be used to make silage the following year but resulting silage and manure must stay on the farm.

Q. What can I use to treat thistles via a knapsack?
A. Use Grazon®Pro if treating thistles with a knapsack. All thistle species should be controlled with GrazonPro. Best effect is an application when plants are at rosette stage.

Q. What can I use for thistle and nettle control in game cover crops?
A. There is an EAMU which allows for Thistlex® use. This will control thistles and have a very good effect on nettles. Applications must be made between 1st March & 31st October. Click here for more information of weed control options in game cover crops.

Show Dates

The technical team from Dow AgroSciences will be out and about at many shows and events this summer, talking to farmers and agronomists and answering questions on how to tackle weed problems in their fields.

Catch the team at:

May 16th NSA Welsh Sheep  Brecon, Powys
May 18th NBA Beef Expo  Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire
May 24th & 25th Grassland & Muck  Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire
May 31st NSA Highland Sheep  Strathpeffer,Ross-shire
June 8th NSA North Sheep  Tow Law, County Durham
June 8th Scottish Beef Event  Earlston, Berwickshire
June 20th NSA Sheep South West Tiverton, Devon


2 BASIS points (1 crop protection and 1 personal development) will be awarded to those subscribing to Dow AgroSciences’ Grassland Agronomy Update. Please include course name ‘Grassland Agronomy Update’ and ref number: CPE/51889/1617/g, on your training record. If necessary contact Linda Miller ( to redeem points. These details are valid until 31st May 2017.

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® Trademark of the Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow. All other brand names are trademarks of other manufacturers for which proprietary rights may exist.

DoxstarPro contains fluroxypyr and triclopyr
Envy contains fluroxypyr and florasulam
Forefront T contains aminopyralid and triclopyr
GrazonPro contains clopyralid and triclopyr
Leystar contains fluroxypyr, clopyralid and florasulam
PastorPro contains clopyralid, fluroxypyr and triclopyr
Pas.Tor Agronomy Pack contains clopyralid, fluroxypyr and triclopyr
Thistlex contains clopyralid and triclopyr

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Technical Hotline: 0800 689 8899 email: |