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AGRONOMY UPDATE – EAST A simple modification to boost the number of spray droplets can greatly improve the performance of grass weed herbicides, says Norfolk-based Agrovista agronomist Craig Green. up of 80-04 flat fans, alternating forwards and backwards. Raising the twin-line volume to 300 litres by reducing speed to 10kph increased control to 95 per cent, he explains. However, few of Craig’s clients run twin-line sprayers. He’ll be recommending a cheap and simple alternative which Agrovista technical manager Mark Hemmant included in last season’s trials, using Hypro Twincaps fitted to a single line. In standard form the Twincap has two back-to-back nozzle apertures inclined 30 degrees forwards and backwards. “Fitting a Defy nozzle to the rear-facing aperture produces a near-vertical fan, which mimics the twin-line approach and provides similar black-grass control for very little additional cost,” says Craig. Growers can expect better performance from post-emergence herbicides and fungicides too, he adds.

A freshly drilled seedbed might look an easy target, but good, even coverage is required to ensure sprays work as effectively as possible, says Craig. Agrovista development work in Northamptonshire has shown control of difficult black-grass using diflufenican and flufenacet can be increased significantly by tweaking application technique. Best results have come from applying the herbicide through a twin-line sprayer, says Craig. To minimise shadowing by small clods, nozzles face forwards on the front line and straight down on the back line. The twin-line approach produces a lot more droplets than a single line. Applying 200-litres/ha of spray through blue 80-03 flat fan nozzles at 3-bar carried 50cm above the ground gave 90 per cent control, he says. This compared with 80 per cent control from a single line set

Pre-em efficacy is further boosted by adding Remix, a paraffinic oil that reduces spray drift and keeps the chemical in the top few centimetres of soil. On average, Remix has boosted black-grass control by nine per cent in trials, he notes. This season Agrovista is recommending a new post-em herbicide approach for winter wheat growers who can achieve good blackgrass control but who need to boost it a few per cent to reach the magic 98 per cent level to avoid yield loss and reduce the seed bank in the soil. It involves using Xerton, a new product which contains ethofumesate, best known as a sugar beet herbicide, with flufenacet, applied early post crop emergence. “We are recommending 0.6-litres/ha, which supplies 250g/ ha of ethofumesate, plus Remix and 120–240g/ha of flufenacet, depending on the severity of the black-grass problem,” says Craig. “Combined with a robust pre-em stack and Avadex pre-emergence you can typically add six per cent to blackgrass control.” Dry seedbeds, slugs and flea beetle have slowed the development of

The adapted Twincap nozzle configuration.

many oilseed crops this season, says Craig. He recommends Derrex (ferric phosphate) at 5–7kg/ha for slug control from now on. ‘It’s as good as metaldehyde, costs very little more and doesn’t have water quality implications.” Few growers need reminding of the need to treat flea beetle, says Craig. However, small plants under pressure, whatever the cause, will benefit from an application of TerraSorb at 1–1.5 litres/ha. “It’s Red Bull for crops,” says Craig. It is made up of 18 alpha amino acids which crops can synthesise, but at a high energy cost. “Applying Terra-Sorb when crops can least afford to expend that energy can make an unbelievable difference to crop appearance in a short time.” Craig Green is an agronomist with Agrovista, based at Great Ellingham, Norfolk (Craig.Green@ ■

Strength Reliability and


STRENGTH and RELIABILITY is designed into every Maschio Power Harrow. High quality components manufactured at the Maschio factory are used on every machine to ensure it’s up to the job.

n Double skin trough provides strength and protects driveline from damage. n Close 25cm rotor spacing means a finer tilth is produced.

The extensive Maschio range of power harrows offers machines from 1.5m to 8m working width which are suitable for tractors from 35 to 450hp.

n Sequentially timed rotors reduce work stresses.

n Rapido Quick-Fit tines reduce downtime.

n Simple, robust top and bottom bearing system improves longevity.

Maschio distributed by OPlCO Ltd, Tel: 01778 421111 Email: Web:

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