Weed Control Advice for the East of England

Cereal growers should be wary of late-germinating weeds

Cereal growers in the East of England must continue to monitor fields for late germinating broad-leaved weeds amid a change in spring spraying strategies.

Rob Suckling, our commercial technical manager for the region, says growers have traditionally targeted yield-robbing weeds in late February and March. But with the drilling of winter cereal crops and applications of residual chemistry moving later in to the autumn to aid grassweed control, spring spray programmes are being pushed back.

Weather permitting, the bulk of the region’s spring weed control now takes place from mid-April through May, often mixed at fungicide timings. “Those who drilled winter cereal crops late and then applied residuals in good conditions seem to have kept key problem weeds at bay across the east and south east of England this season,” Rob said.

“But growers must not be fooled in to thinking that the job is done. Those residuals will have run out of steam now. As temperatures rise and the inevitable spring rain arrives there will be some late germinating weeds there.”

Rob added that cleavers, groundsel, fool’s parsley and bur chervil are the four key problem weeds growers across East Anglia and the south-east this season. Application timing is not the only part of growers’ weed control strategies to have changed in recent years. We are seeing growers move away from iodosulfuron + mesosulfuron products which are proving to be less effective at controlling blackgrass.

“Another trend we’ve seen is using Broadway Star (pyroxsulam + florasulam) as their ALS graminicide of choice in targeting bromes and wild oats while mopping up cleavers, cranesbill and groundsel at the same time. And growers in the region will be having their first full season with two new cereal herbicides at their disposal.

Pixxaro EC was launched last spring, while Zypar only hit the market in March 2017. Both are based on Dow’s new molecule, Arylex Active, which adds the unique quality in a herbicide of being able to perform in cold and variable weather conditions.

“Feedback from those growers who used Pixxaro last year has been very good. It was used in late applications and it did a fantastic job on cleavers, chickweed and fumitory,” Rob said. “This year some people have gone early to pick out cranesbill and early cleavers. A lot of growers are very excited by Zypar which can be applied in the autumn as well as the spring. It’s brand new and is only just arriving on farms and going in to tanks.”

To contact Rob for further advice in your area, click here to go to the contact us page.