Don’t delay blackgrass tidy up, warns Hutchinsons

Written by Charlotte Cunningham from CPM Magazine

Agronomy firm Hutchinsons is urging growers to push on carefully with follow-up grassweed herbicide treatments as long as conditions allow this autumn, rather than risk delaying control until the spring. Mild weather combined with good levels of soil moisture has resulted in a steady emergence of blackgrass well into November, so it should be controlled early to avoid damaging the promising yield potential of autumn-sown crops, the firm’s technical manager Dick Neale says. Indeed, winter crops have generally established very well in the favourable growing conditions, with plant stands looking much denser than in recent seasons where drilling was delayed by wet conditions, often compromising establishment and residual herbicide timing, he notes. “This resulted in thinner plant stands in the spring, allowing sunlight to hit the soil surface triggering further blackgrass germination. Early and substantial nitrogen applications, to encourage tiller growth in thinner stands, also encouraged germination of many broadleaved weeds as well as grassweeds.” Different situation The situation looks very different this year though. Thicker plant stands will afford much better suppression of weed germination next spring, which combined with more caution about applying early nitrogen, is likely to reduce the significance of the spring germination element seen in…
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