NovaChem > Industry News > 2022 > Has vulpia hair grass reached your farmers yet?

Has vulpia hair grass reached your farmers yet?

Published on 31/03/2022

WORDS: Neil Waddingham, customer marketing manager, Bayer New Zealand.
The Bayer field team has been
watching the increase in hairgrass, finding it as a problem in all arable growing regions, from the lower North Island to Southland.
Vulpia hair grass is on the move!

And it isn’t just hair grass that is
increasing. Ryegrass, wild oats, brome species and even annual poa are becoming harder to control.

Factors such as minimal culti
vation, drier autumns and the build-up of herbicide resistant populations are all playing a part in increasing grass weed pressure.

A new option to control vulpia
hair grass.

Since its launch in 2010 Firebird
has been the go-to product for hair grass control. When used at the higher rate of 500 mL per ha,it provides excellent hair grass control in wheat and barley.

But in autumn 2021 the Bayer
team decided that it was time to test Sakura as a new option for hair grass control, to give agronomists and farmers a new option for hair grass control.

It is about having the right her
bicide to use.

Firebird and Sakura have differ
ent strengths and offer choice for agronomists faced with controlling grass weeds.

Firebird is a very effective broad-spectrum pre-emergence herbi
cide. It controls vulpia hair grass and poa annua, and a wide range of broad leaf weeds, and it can be used in both wheat and barley.
Sakura is a grass weed special
ist, controlling ryegrass, vulpia hair grass, annual poa, soft brome and barley grass while suppressing wild oats and ripgut brome. Sakura is recommended for application to wheat (not durum wheat) and triticale, but not barley.

How did Sakura perform?

Bayer conducted two detailed
trials in autumn 2021 with the aim of finding mixed grass weed populations. Populations of ryegrass plus either hair grass, wild oats or bromes.

In one trial a significant popu
lation of hair grass was present (204 heads per square metre in the untreated) along with ryegrass, soft brome and ripgut brome.

Testing a range of Sakura rates,
the trial established that:

1. Sakura is extremely ef
fective at controlling hairgrass, with both the 125g per ha and 150 g per ha treatments giving 100 percent control.
2. Firebird is also very effective
with 500 ml per Ha giving 100per cent control, but 3. For the control of the other grass weeds
Sakura is more effective than
In conclusion the trial confirmed
the Bayer team’s thoughts that Firebird is the product of choice when broad leaved weeds with some grass weeds are the target and Sakura is the go-to herbicide when grass weeds are the main target.

Getting the best from Sakura
and Firebird.
There are some simple guide
lines to follow to get the best from Firebird or Sakura.

Both herbicides perform best
in minimum till situations where grass weeds tend to germinate closer to the surface. Keeping weed seeds near the surface is so important for successful grass weed control.

Good seedbed preparation is
also very important. When cultivating, create a fine, clod free seedbed to ensure effective herbicide soil contact.

Both Firebird and Sakura re
quire soil moisture to activate so apply them immediately after drilling to take advantage of all available soil moisture.

Sakura is primarily taken up by
the roots of germinating weeds, so moisture post application is especially important. To incorporate Sakura into the root zone, typically at least 10-15 mm of rainfall or irrigation is required.

Finally, plan to follow up both
Firebird and Sakura with a broad spectrum herbicide in late winter as both grass and broad leaf weeds germinate over a protracted period.

Othello OD on wheat and triti
cale and Hussar on barley fit the bill perfectly.

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