NovaChem > Industry News > 2020 > Time to knock weedy pastures back in shape

Time to knock weedy pastures back in shape

Published on 09/12/2020

But the picture will look even less attractive in a few weeks when broadleaf weeds which have colonised damaged pastures start to flower. By that time, it’s too late to achieve consistent levels of control. So not only will your farmers be stuck with production-limiting weeds instead of grass in the short term, they will also end up witha bigger seed bank in the soil to escalate the spread in coming years.

“We always encourage farmers to have a good tidy up in spring for broadleaf weeds in particular, just to maintain the productivity of their existing pastures,” says Nufarm technical specialist Cynthia Christie. But this year, it’s really important they factor this into their schedule if necessary, because so many pastures were hammered last year, and became very vulnerable to weed ingression."

“Helping them organise appropriate weed control over the next few weeks could make the difference between some of those paddocks having to be totally renewed sooner than they expected, and being able to nurse them through another year or two of productive growth.” If farmers haven’t yet got around to this job, there’s still time, but the window is closing, she says.

For weeds like Californian thistle, pennyroyal, water pepper, willow weed, buttercup, fleabane, hedge mustard and daisy, the period between germination and flowering is the optimum time to spray. “They are growing fast, but they are still susceptible to herbicide,” Christie says. Typically the best results come from spraying after the main germination but before any flower stalks have developed. Californian thistles are the exception to this rule, as these are best sprayed at hard-ball stage. 

Christie says Thistrol Plus, Sprinter 700DS, and Baton 800WSG are key tools in getting on top of broadleaf weeds before they get on top of farmers’ pastures.

This season, Nufarm also has a new adjuvant which has been shown to be very useful in such situations. Amigo has been formulated specifically to reduce spray drift, rather that combining drift reduction with other attributes, as is often the case with other similar additives. 

“We have evidence that Amigo used with our phenoxy herbicides such as Sprinter and Baton shows very good reduction in drift, as well as improved retention of the spray on weed foliage.” Importantly, Christie says, Amigo performs well at low use rates. “As well as creating larger, more uniform droplets and increasing droplet retention, it also has an excellent anti-foam system built in.” 

Amigo is plant friendly, and does not cause cuticle or cell injury, unlike some adjuvants, like oils, which can disrupt chemical uptake and translocation. To help farmers get the best out of their applications, remind them to graze paddocks before spraying to expose target weeds, and to reduce clover leaf area which in turn minimises clover damage.

“Let the paddock freshen for two to three days, and aim to spray as soon as possible thereafter, weather permitting. It’s also important to not graze for a few days after application to allow herbicides to move through the weed plants, and if any toxic weeds arepresent, they should be allowed to die down before grazing,” Christie advises.

For more detail contact your local Nufarm territory manager.

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