Saturday, March 6, 2021

Spray window beckons for oilseed rape

February 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Crops

EARLY signs of spring growth are prompting reminders to assess winter oilseed rape crops for difficult weeds such as cleavers, sow thistle and mayweeds.

Weeds will start to romp away as soon as the weather warms up and the first fertiliser is applied, competing with the crop and causing costly yield, admixture and harvesting problems, said David Ellerton of Hutchinsons agronomists.

“The spray opportunity to tackle these weeds arrives all too quickly, as does the cut off timing for the main herbicide, Galera. It is usually a tight treatment window, but action needs to be taken if you have problem weeds.

Walking fields now would pay dividends later, said Dr Ellerton. Winter rape crops are variable but many are looking good with reasonable canopies, good colour and new leaves just starting to be produced.

“It’s definitely worth going out to having a look and being prepared. You only have one chance to control these weeds so it is worth making the most of the window of opportunity that you have.”

Snow appears to have insulated many crops from the coldest temperatures. But it may have curtailed some herbicide plans from November to January, resulting in untreated crops and increased need for weed control this spring.

“It is important that the dose rate of Galera is kept up and that it is applied when temperatures are starting to rise and weeds are actively growing. Normally this starts around mid-February.”

Stuart Jackson, of agrochemical manufacturer Dow AgroSciences, said recent mild weather has encouraged thistles and mayweeds to start growing and in these instances applications of Galera could be applied.

“Generally, the trigger point for Galera applications targeted at cleavers will be the onset of growth post-fertiliser applications, assuming adequate temperatures. Wait one week and then apply.”

Picture: Action now can prevent problems like cleavers later.

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