Many arable farmers face a continuing battle to control black-grass on their farm. To help pre-emergence residuals, they also employ a number of cultural control strategies – delayed drilling, stale seedbeds, targeted ploughing and competitive varieties. Some of these farms have moved to a more balanced cropping regime which features spring crops. Kuldip Mudhar, Development Manager for Gowan’s UK and Ireland business, reports that Avadex Excel 15G (tri-allate) now has a new label recommendation for use in spring wheat. It already has a label recommendation for winter wheat, where it is the cornerstone of any black-grass control programme, as well as label recommendations in winter and spring barley. There are EAMUs in place for spring linseed, miscanthus and canary grass.
Spring cropping is an effective way of being able to reduce black-grass seed return on the farm. Looking at spring versus winter cropping, spring barley has been increasing for the past few years. In 2015 659,000 ha’s of spring barley was grown but by 2018 this had increased to 762,000 ha’s. Spring barley is now 66% of all barley grown in the UK. “Spring wheat has also been increasing and is estimated to be around 100,000 ha’s. The area of spring wheat has increased as more favourable varieties come to market,” says Kuldip.
“Spring wheat can be drilled from November through to April. Using the strategy of growing spring crops will reduce black-grass by missing its main autumn germinating period. Therefore, it is possible to create good stale seedbeds with less grassweed burden,” he says.
“There are a number of points to be aware of in order to get the best from Avadex Granules,” reminds Kuldip.
Points to consider when applying Avadex Granules, autumn and spring
- Calibrate applicator which should include a patternation test before use.
- Apply pre-emergence of weeds and crop
- Apply Avadex as part of a herbicide programme
- Always apply at the recommended rate of 15 kgs/hectare to a moist consolidated seed bed
- Make sure drilling depth for wheat is correct – 4 cms for wheat
- Regularly check applicator pipe work and deflector plates, ensure deflector plates are clean and at the right angle to maintain an even spread pattern across the boom.
Avadex Granules will also control of meadow-grasses and give some useful control of broad-leaved weed control you get – speedwell, red dead-nettle, forget-me-knot, poppy, mayweed, cleavers, pansy, chickweed and charlock.