NovaChem > Industry News > 2021 > Last chance to clean up pastures before winter

Last chance to clean up pastures before winter

Published on 09/05/2021

Many farmers affected by the severe dry of 2019/20 were so pre-occupied making sure their animals were looked after they didn’t get weed sprays on last autumn, and in some cases, conditions were so poor for spraying there wasn’t any point.

“We had guys ringing us last February saying our Cali’s are wilting, should we be trying to spray them? And the answer was definitely no."

"That weather pattern was so extreme, sales for some of our main autumn pasture herbicides were virtually nil,” recalls Richard Brenton-Rule, national sales manager for Corteva.

“This season, the combination of hot and dry weather, plus heavy rain events, has made the weed situation worse, and it’s nationwide. A lot of those problem perennials like Californian thistles, buttercup, oxeye daisy and dock have coped reasonably well with the conditions we’ve had.”

March is the last chance to clean pastures up before winter, so that spring does not bring further loss of good grazing. There’s real opportunity to turn the focus with customers to pasture quality while the days are still warm enough for active growth.

Brenton-Rule says the challenge with those perennials is that they burst back into life in spring, and by then farmers are typically so busy with lambing and calving and spring in general there’s no time or chance to spot spray pastures, even though they don’t like seeing those weeds there.

“Autumn is a bit quieter; it’s a good chance to walk the farm, have a proper look at the state of existing pastures and plan herbicide applications if required.” Autumn also coincides with the time that many weed species draw energy reserves down to their roots or rhizomes to carry them over to spring, which increases the herbicide’s systemic action.

Brenton-Rule includes brushweeds like gorse, broom and blackberry on his hit list for an autumn clean up.
Between them, Tordon PastureBoss, Tordon 2G Gold and Tordon Brushkiller XT cover most requirements. A key strength for aminopyralid, which is the unique active ingredient common to all these formulations, is that it is highly systemic, so an autumn spray really helps kill weeds from the roots up.

Tordon PastureBoss is first choice for hard to kill pasture weeds, like Californian thistle, dock, buttercup and oxeye daisy, plus many more.

Tordon 2G Gold is a ready to use granular formulation which can be applied manually, so it offers farmers a convenient way to keep on top of low density infestations that they see as they travel around their property.

And Tordon Brushkiller is obviously for woody brushweeds, as well as wilding pines. Sales across the range have been steady this autumn, indicating farmers realise the future implications of increasing weed pressure, but there is still no shortage of poor-quality paddocks around.

Critically, against the backdrop of COVID-19, Corteva has been able to maintain consistent supply of product to the NZ market.

“It’s not been without its challenges! We’re having to make supply decisions earlier, to make sure we’re not impacted and logistics issues.”

The channel too is looking further ahead in its ordering. “The clear message we’re getting from our resellers is on the importance of supply. We’re having a lot more conversations about forecasting requirements for the entire season ahead, with half an eye on the year following, whereas before COVID the timeframes were much shorter.”

For more detail, talk to your Corteva territory sales manager.

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