Taking time to control thistles in established grassland now will prevent them spreading seed this summer and causing bigger infestations to deal with next spring, according to Dr Nicola Perry of Corteva Agrisciences.
“Many thistles are now starting to flower – meaning they have grown too large to be sprayed effectively with translocated herbicides,” says Dr Perry.
“The plan now should be to mow them and leave them for three weeks to regrow. Then the fresh rosette of fresh young leaves will be big enough to provide the ideal target for a spray.
“Where thistles are the main weed problem Thistlex, which has been specifically formulated to kill these tough perennial weeds, including the Spear, Creeping and Marsh varieties, provides an ideal solution.
“An advantage of Thistlex is that animals need only be excluded for seven days after the field has been treated, as opposed to 14 days for other products. Where grazing is tight, an additional week’s worth of grazing can be a godsend to livestock farmers in summer.”
Thistlex comes in a handy 3 litre pack and should be applied at a rate of 1l/ha in 200 litres of water.