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Problem grass and broadleaf weeds meet their match

Published on 18/12/2014

That’s the outlook from BASF, which launched what it describes as a maize ‘gamechanger’ at the end of 2013.
Growers who have used the new herbicide have been impressed with subsequent broadleaf weed and grass weed control particularly for the likes of yellow bristle grass and broomcorn millet, according to BASF Waikato territory manager John Haliday.
“They’re getting enough of a result to make Arietta a worthy investment.”
He and fellow territory manager Tim Gueze say the product has many benefits but arguably the most significant of these is that it combines excellent efficacy with more flexibility in terms of application timing.
As an example, they say, it will kill both yellow bristle grass and broom corn millet at up to the three tiller stage, while broadleaf weeds such as black nightshade, fathen, willow weed and Apple of Peru can be killed at up to eight true leaves.

Alternative actives need to be applied when weeds are at earlier stages of growth to achieve control, Haliday and Gueze say, and growers often end up making two post emergence passes over the crop to get a good kill of late grass weeds in particular.
Another benefit is that Arietta is applied with one third the amount of atrazine that would normally be used in a pre-emerge application and it is applied to the foliage not soil, which reduces the risk of potential resistance and soil residue issues.
Arietta doesn’t eliminate the need for pre emergence residual weed control with acetechlor, or a tank mix of acetochlor and
Sharpen for example, but will make postemergence spraying more efficient as well as more effective for many growers.
According to AgResearch weed scientist Trevor James, in soils with a long history of maize production the weed spectrum is changing towards more difficult to control weeds due to changes in soil biology (and the increasing need for post emerge solutions), Haliday points out.
Many annual grass weeds germinate throughout the summer as temperature and moisture thresholds are attained, and this staggered emergence can be a serious problem as the residual activity of the pre-emerge herbicide used also diminishes with time.
“All you have to do is look at the effect the likes of broomcorn millet can have in terms of yield loss and even machinery breakage at harvest time, as well as the spread of yellow bristle grass seeds into pasture from maize silage and it’s clear that Arietta is a significant new tool to enhance crop quality and profitability.”
Tested on hundreds of varieties of maize and sweetcorn overseas, Arietta provides excellent crop safety even on highly susceptible crops like seed sweetcorn, Geuze says.
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