Dow Shield® 400 controlling weeds in game cover crops


Written by John Swire

Game cover crops for shooting and wildlife and wild bird seed mixtures need careful management, starting with reducing the weed population which will help their establishment. This can be challenging, as often there are mixtures of different crop types established in the same place year on year to provide food and shelter for game birds or to promote wildlife and biodiversity. Dow Shield® 400 (clopyralid) can be used as an EAMU approval to create a better game cover and reduce weed seed burden for future crops.

This contact herbicide reduces weed pressure helping the earlier establishment of game cover crops. Several different crop species, a mix of cereals and brassicas, are established each year to provide shelter and food for game birds. Corteva in conjunction with stakeholders have carried out extensive screening trials on several commercially available mixes and crop types used in game cover to establish the safety of Dow Shield 400. The updated results of selectivity are below.

Game Cover crop0.25 -5L/ha of Dow Shield 400
Canary grass
Fodder radish
Gold of pleasure(√)
Red CloverX
Red Millet
Stubble turnips
Sweet cloverX
Triticale and other cereals
Tyfon cabbage/stubble tops
White millet

√ = safe (√) = some damage X= do not use

“Weed control in game cover crops can be tricky because there is a mix of desired game cover crops and weeds growing together. In mixed cereal and brassica game covers, Dow Shield 400 can be applied up until the end of July in the year of application and will control creeping thistles, volunteer potatoes, corn marigold, groundsel, mayweeds and smooth sow-thistle. It should be applied at the 4 to 6 leaves stage of the game cover mix, when weeds are actively growing. The crop should be well established but before flower buds are visible,” says John Sellars of Corteva.

John points that Dow Shield 400 has an amazing array of 19 label crop recommendations and an even more impressive list of EAMUs in the realms of 50 plus different crops. “If thistles or smooth sow thistles are a problem anywhere on the farm, Dow Shield is bound to have a place,” he says.

Corteva has a strong portfolio of herbicides that can be used in game cover crops including Starane XL (fluroxypyr and florasulam), Starane Hi-Load (fluroxypyr) and Thistlex (clopyralid + triclopyr). These herbicides are widely used in arable and grass crops, so are easily transferable into game cover crop situations under their individual EAMU’s. Read the label before use – ensure full incorporation of crop residues before planting treated areas with susceptible crops.

For any EAMU, growers should obtain a copy of the notice of approval via the Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD) web site, ADAS offices or NFU. EAMU’s are made at growers’ own risk.

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