Weed Control Advice for the North

Spring warmth brings flush of weeds to region’s fields

Cereal growers across Northumberland, Durham and Yorkshire should be on the lookout for broad-leaved weeds in crops as a busy spring season of fieldwork ramps up across the region.

Warming spring soils are producing flushes of cleavers, cranesbill and poppy, according to our regional commercial technical manager Caroline Smith. “Generally speaking those who put on residual weed control products in the autumn have had good control throughout the winter,”

“But as the warmer days arrive growers are starting to see those weeds which have overwintered along with fresh spring flushes. Cleavers are always a key problem weed and growers will want to tackle them as soon as possible to reduce the risk of a yield penalty down the line.

“The weed spectrum changes further north, and in the Borders fumitory is posing its annual challenge to growers. A relatively new conundrum facing growers in the north east is controlling bur chervil and fool’s parsley. It’s not present across the whole region but we are seeing populations of the weed increasing which has traditionally been quite hard to control.” Caroline said.

The spring signals the start of a busy time for growers and their agronomists.

Caroline’s advice is to choose a weed killer which will tank mix well with fungicides in April and May to maximise the efficiency of machinery and labour. Growers in the region are among the first to put two new cereal herbicides to the test that will do just that.

Pixxaro EC was launched last spring, while Zypar only hit the market in March. 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 or variable weather conditions – a feature that Caroline says growers in the north of England will find invaluable.

“Temperatures are extremely variable at the moment with cold nights and warm days,” she said. “Traditional chemistry would not be reliable in these conditions but Arylex products have been designed to work whatever the weather. 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, poppies and fumitory.”

“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. Both products will sit happily in the sprayer with fungicides, plant growth regulators and trace elements so we’re expecting them to be a real hit with growers across the north east.”

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