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Stop-start drilling dictates field-by-field decision making


Spraying at short notice and on a field-by-field basis will be the best way to complete black-grass control programmes this autumn, says Bayer CropScience.

Changeable weather during the past month, coupled with stop-start drilling and wide variations in pre-emergence treatments, have conspired to leave growers facing a number of different scenarios particularly as conditions have favoured germination and growth for both crops and weeds.

Growers must be prepared to act quickly to treat black-grass with Atlantis WG (mesosulfuron and iodosulfuron) and a robust residual partner when it reaches the appropriate growth stage, says Gordon Anderson-Taylor, herbicide development manager for Bayer CropScience.

Tackling black-grass at the right time is crucial to the efficacy of Atlantis, he reminds growers, so its essential that growers keep a close eye on fields and deal with black-grass as soon as it reaches one to three leaves.

Fields are in a variety of conditions, he points out. While many were drilled and sprayed according to schedule, many others have been subject to different product selection and altered application timings.

Bayer reports that although many agronomists and advisers have already branded this year as one of the most perfect for pre-emergence applications, this firm foundation for the new crop could be lost if growers fail to take advantage when conditions are suitable for Atlantis applications.

However, growers will need to consider both the growth stage of the crop and the herbicides that have been applied before deciding what sprays to use in the coming weeks, Dr Anderson-Taylor warns.

Where wheat is at peri-emergence and no pre-em has been applied, growers should apply Liberator (flufenacet and diflufenican) at 0.6L/ha as soon as possible, says Dr Anderson-Taylor. Be careful if you were planning to stack residuals, as it could hot up the mix.

Splitting the pre-em from Atlantis will give the best control, he assures.

However, where the crop was drilled earlier and where growers couldnt apply a pre-em, or perhaps used a non-flufenacet preem, applying Atlantis and Liberator together will deal with the black-grass that has emerged and the residual will see them through the winter.

Of course, those whose flufenacet based pre-em programme went without a hitch need to consider how to extend the residual. Applying Atlantis with a robust residual partner containing pendimethalin or prosulfocarb will achieve the best control.

Most black-grass has now flushed through but growers must take into consideration the seeds that are yet to germinate and always tank-mix a robust residual with their autumn applied Atlantis to ensure that control carries on through into spring.”

About Bayer CropScience

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience AG, a subsidiary of Bayer AG with annual sales of about EUR 6.5 billion (2009), is one of the worlds leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and traits. The company offers an outstanding range of products and extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture and for non-agricultural applications. Bayer CropScience has a global workforce of 18,700 and is represented in more than 120 countries.

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