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Arable

Herbicide set to be the bedrock for spring black-grass control boost Growers have a new spring-applied grass weed control option available in 2018.

A new spring-applied herbicide can provide growers with 10 per cent more black-grass control compared with Atlantis, says its manufacturer. Dominic Kilburn reports. Growers looking to boost control of black-grass and other grasses in winter wheat crops have a new option of a specialist herbicide available to them in the spring. Monolith, from crop protection business Bayer, is claimed to provide 10 per cent extra black-grass control in the spring compared with Atlantis WG/Pacifica (mesosulfuron + iodosulfuron). According to the company, a 10 per cent increase in black-grass control can result in a significant uplift in yield, a better return on investment and fewer black-grass seeds being returned to the seedbank. Monolith is based on Atlantis grass weed active mesosulfuron with the addition of another grass weed active propoxycarbazone, said Bayer’s cereals herbicide campaign manager Ben Coombs (right). “Basically we have taken Atlantis, removed the iodosulfuron which was primarily there for broadleaved weed control, and added the active ingredient in Attribut.

“Monolith therefore has an additional grass weed element and will take black-grass control to a meaningful step on,” he added.

yields (t/ha) in the presence of blackgrass (297 heads/m2 untreated), an additional 10 per cent black-grass control by Monolith over Atlantis gave a 0.3t/ha increase in yield where 73 and 208 heads/m2 black-grass remained respectively. This resulted in a £42/ha increase in return on investment. In a situation where black-grass populations are being managed and are less challenging (for example 50 heads/m2), and assuming the same levels of control, then Mr Coombs suggested that while the yield benefit from Monolith over Atlantis was less (0.05t/ha), the number of black-grass seeds not being returned to the seedbank was still significant.

Trials performance Across a series of 19 trials (2012– 2017) comparing its performance with Atlantis, on average, blackgrass control with Monolith was improved by 10 per cent in ‘problem situations’ typically found on UK farms. In addition, the trials demonstrated that there was less variability in the range of control provided by Monolith (53–95 per cent) compared with Atlantis (16–94 per cent). “We know that resistance is a problem in the UK and some growers might be in a situation where they only get 50 per cent control of black-grass with the new product, but it will be better than the control they were getting previously,” he pointed out. According to Mr Coombs, and taking the 19 trials as an example, when evaluating crop

Monolith is set to boost black-grass control by 10 per cent compared with Atlantis WG.

“Less black-grass means better yield, fewer heads remaining at the end of the season and fewer seeds returned to the seedbank,” he said. As well as black-grass, both actives in Monolith are very effective against a broad range of grass weeds including bromes, ryegrass and wild oats, added Mr Coombs. “We developed Monolith with black-grass in mind because this is the biggest problem for most wheat crops, but, in terms of broad-leaved weeds, then growers can better target their control of these with different treatments rather than having to

What is Monolith? • A new herbicide with post-em • • • • •

control of black-grass and other grass weeds in winter wheat Contains mesosulfuron + propoxycarbazone (both ALS inhibitors) 10 per cent more black-grass control than Atlantis WG Water dispersible granule Spray volume 200–300-litres/ha 0.33kg/ha label application rate

time them with when the grass weed control is done.”

Application Coming with a similar label and application considerations to Atlantis, including relevant fungicide tank mixes, but at a slight premium in terms of cost, Monolith can be applied as soon as conditions allow from the 1st February and when the crop is at the first tiller stage until 2nd node detectable (growth stage 21–32). T1 is the latest time of application. “The key application window for Monolith is likely to be in March, but it’s essential to have active weed growth when it’s applied and when weeds are as small as possible,” concluded Mr Coombs. ■

Best conditions to apply Monolith: • Active growth in the weed • Target weeds which are as • • •

small as possible Apply to a drying leaf Ensure spray coverage is as even as possible Mix with 1.0-litres/ha biopower

Land with Development Prospects? Chartered Surveyors and Development Specialists

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