The granule formulation of tri-allate Avadex Excel 15G has an EAMU for winter or spring linseed. The new liquid formulation, Avadex Factor, joins the ranks with a recently granted EAMU for autumn and spring linseed (22nd February).
One of the benefits of growing spring linseed is that it fits nicely into most rotations, is a good break crop and it can be used to control difficult weeds on the farm, such as black-grass, brome and a host of difficult to control broad-leaved weeds – cleavers, charlock, chickweed, common poppy, field speedwell, forget-me-not, ivy-leaved speedwell, runch and red dead nettle. The June Census 2018 puts the linseed area at around 25,000 hectares.
Andrew Probert, managing director for Premium Crops, says that the high area of winter wheat sown this year means that the available land for spring crops will be reduced. He also points out that last year saw the worst drought for many, many years and this had a negative impact on spring crop performances, particularly pulses. “Farmers may be licking their wounds and deciding what to do this spring. Most will just keep drilling wheat until it becomes too late and only then consider which spring crop to plant. Spring linseed fits very well into many rotations and offers the opportunity to reduce black-grass pressure by using tri-allate pre-emergence, which we recommend to our growers. Harvest is much earlier than it used to be, fitting in behind the wheat in late August to early September.”
Premium Crops are the largest buyers and traders of linseed in the UK handling around 75% of all linseed grown. “A combination of low growing costs, good prices and good contracts means spring linseed is just as profitable as peas, beans or spring oilseed rape. If, like many farmers you have decided to move away from a dominant winter crop rotation and want to introduce some spring cropping in order to get rid of problem weeds, then spring linseed is well worth considering. It fits well into most rotations particularly with the move towards zero tillage. It leaves minimal crop stubbles and you can burn the straw in the field, providing all regulations are adhered to.”
Mr Probert explains that most linseed grown in the UK goes into animal feed, via the French company Valorex. “Around 15,000 to 20,000 tonnes a year goes to Valorex. Incorporation of linseed in animal feed will improve the levels of omega-3 in milk and eggs. Other outlets for linseed are the industrial oil market and the human health food sector for whole grains. In the human health sector the ALA (Alpha Linolenic Acid) levels, an omega -3 fatty acid, are important. Most linseed varieties have around 55% ALA content but some careful breeding by Premium Crops has resulted in some ultra-high ALA varieties with around 70% ALA. We are the agents for the two highest ALA linseed varieties.
“We understand more and more about the crop’s agronomy,” says Hannah Foxall, one of the two full time agronomists who work for Premium Crops. “The new EAMU for the liquid Avadex Factor will mean growers can apply this residual herbicide more easily and at a reduced cost without having to employ a contractor. Avadex Factor can also be tank mixed with other herbicides such as Callisto (mesotrione), which will add to the broad leaved weed control including weeds such as charlock and runch, which are difficult to control in oilseed rape,” says Hannah.
Hannah adds that the growers have until the end of March or early April to decide if they want to drill spring linseed. “Some growers have become fed up with failing winter oilseed rape crops and are looking for a viable alternative crop to grow. Spring linseed suits most soil types and rotations.”
“Spring linseed is an effective cleaning crop when it comes to difficult to control grass-weeds such as black-grass and brome (also a very difficult weed to control). Sowing from the end of March through to mid-April, growers will be able to spray off grass-weeds with glyphosate in a stale seedbed. Then Avadex Excel 15G or Avadex Factor can be applied pre-emergence, followed by Centurion Max (clethodim) post-emergence if required,” advises Rob Plaice, technical manager for Gowan who market tri-allate in the UK. “Avadex can help in the control of black-grass, brome, rye-grass and wild-oats.”
For any EAMU, growers should obtain a copy of the notice of approval via the Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD) web site, or NFU. In the EAMU notice of approval, CRD point out that liability lies with the user and growers are advised to test a small area of crop prior to commercial use.