New option for weed control in OSR this autumn By applying Crawler to OSR earlier in the season, it helps keep pesticides out of water as well as reducing the weed pressure for later-applied propyzamide products.
At an ‘autumn crop protection’ briefing, Adama outlined a new herbicide option for oilseed rape growers as well as updates to other products in its weed control portfolio. Dominic Kilburn writes. A new approach to broad-leaved weed control in oilseed rape is how crop protection company Adama describes its latest herbicide offering. Parish is a post emergence herbicide based on active ingredient phenmedipham, which sugar beet growers will recognise as a product associated with that crop. However, Adama has now developed its use in oilseed rape with activity on a range of important weeds including groundsel, small nettle, field pansy, and, notably, chickweed. According to the company’s herbicide technical specialist David Roberts (left), Parish fills the gap between drilling, and later applied herbicides. “There’s been a significant decline in the use of pre-em herbicides in oilseed rape due to reticence in spending money on crops which may not survive, following crop restrictions and the reliance on, and good performance of, later applied products such as AstroKerb,” he pointed out. “However, waiting until November to apply a herbicide can allow broad-leaved weeds like chickweed to compete with the crop and so Parish can fill that gap by hitting weeds when they are small and susceptible,” he added. It can be applied to OSR when the crop has two true leaves and before nine leaves are unfolded, applied to weeds from cotyledon to two-true leaves and can be applied at maximum total and individual doses of 1.1-litres/ha, with a seven day interval between applications,
explained Mr Roberts. A contact herbicide, Parish is unaffected by soil type, is not an ALS-inhibitor herbicide and, crucially, he said, does not limit following crop options in the event of OSR failure. According to Mr Roberts, trials have demonstrated that against the standard metazachlor product for groundsel and chickweed, Parish at the full rate offers comparable control. “Parish has the added advantage of being a non-metazachlor option – metazachlor being one of the main pollutants of drinking water – and therefore it offers growers a costeffective alternative.”
Black-grass reminder Switching to grass weeds in oilseed rape, and in particular black-grass, Mr Roberts reiterated Adama’s advice of recent seasons to go early (preemergence to four-true leaves) with Crawler (carbetamide) applications. “The best time to apply Crawler is early in the season when black-grass is shallow-rooted at between 2–3cm, but the seedbed needs to be good, and not cloddy. With an increasing number of these applications at the earlier timing, there have been no problems with efficacy and we want this trend to continue. “By going early it helps keep Crawler out of water as well as reducing the pressure on laterapplied propyzamide products where there is a danger of them getting into water.” Where black-grass pressure is extremely high, an effective foliar graminicide should also be considered between the Crawler and propyzamide treatments, he added.
“Farmers are asking us if they can apply Crawler in September when the soil is dry, and our trials show that applications can be moved earlier with confidence even if soils are dry and there is no rainfall. There is no difference in the levels of control in relation to the timing of post-application rainfall. “Applying Crawler early in the season as part of an integrated resistance management strategy can cost-effectively deliver more than 96 per cent control of black-grass,” he said.
Three-way mix Following extensive in-field testing of commercially grown varieties, Mr Roberts also announced that Adama’s residual herbicide Tower (DFF + chlorotoluron + pendimethalin) has had all varietal restrictions for use on winter wheat removed. “This new position is also supported by many seasons of use in Europe, without any reports of adverse effects due to selectivity,” he commented. “As well as providing a good option against meadow grass and ryegrass, Tower is effective against difficult-to-control weeds such as chickweed, poppy and mayweed in cereals.” In addition, Tower offers control of resistant ryegrass when applied with Movon (DFF + flufenacet + flurtamone), or with Movon + Defy (prosulfocarb), pointed out Mr Roberts.
“It’s also accepted that the active ingredients in Tower have a strong role to play within the sequenced approach to black-grass control and Adama is planning to further investigate the stacking and positioning for this.”
Stewardship matters Adama registration manager Dr Alison Hall (left) concluded the meeting by warning that the stakes for crop protection products were getting higher each season and that agriculture, through integrated crop management (ICM) and stewardship, must be as sustainable as possible. “It’s in everybody’s interest within crop protection that we focus on prolonging the availability and safe use of products, while minimising or eradicating any adverse effects on non-target species and the wider environment. “ICM gets the best out of the growing crop and stewardship is how we can best use the tools sustainably,” she added. Focusing on the importance of preventing pesticides entering drinking water protected areas (DrWPAs), she highlighted new herbicide Parish (as a metazachlor replacement), the move to the earlier application timing of Crawler and Adama’s WaterAware app as examples of on-going stewardship. “For us, stewardship is about maintaining the tools for crop protection and we are looking to make the messages more simple. “We can wait for a government mandate or we can control what we do and embrace stewardship by implementing it,” stressed Dr Hall. ■
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