Friday, April 19, 2019

‘Apply robust spray amounts now to avoid follow-up later’

March 31, 2017 by  
Filed under Crops

RichardButler2

Robust application rates to avoid follow up sprays are key to successful pre-emergence weed control in potatoes, growers are being told.

Accurate field assessments, robust application rates and meticulous spray timings are all crucial to the success of any pre-emergence herbicide programme, explains Agrii agronomist Richard Butler.

“You only get one chance at pre-emergence so aim to get it right first time,” he says.

Devising an effective pre-emergence strategy has never been easy as because potatoes often grown on rented land outside of the normal farm rotation. The key is to take as much of the guess work out of the equation as possible, says Mr Butler.

“The right foundations must be in place so historical weed populations, varieties grown, soil type, moisture levels at application and the specific weed spectrum each pre-emergence product controls all need to be covered within the plan.

“Getting weed populations under control at the start of the season helps reduce the weed risk through the season and ensures a healthier crop at harvest so I always advise my customers not to cut corners at pre-emergence.”

Mr Butler bases his pre-emergence regimes around Praxim (metobromuron) with prosulfocarb as a key partner. It offers offers broad spectrum weed control – especially on bindweed which can be a problem weed on the blacker soils in my area.

“If I’m starting with Praxim, I apply it with either prosulfocarb or metribuzin just before the ridges crack. It’s key attribute is the higher level of crop safety it offers across all varieties and on all soil types making it my number one choice for most pre-emergence strategies.

Mr Butler has also successfully trialled Gozai (pyraflufen-ethyl), a new contact herbicide from Belchim Crop Protection. Both products have made a significant contribution to the current pre-emergence chemical armoury within a relatively short time, he says.

“Gozai performed extremely well at pre-emergence on the some of the finer silt soils where I had previously experienced problems with control of small nettles and with Diquat under threat I also aim to use Gozai as my main desiccant later this year.”

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