Early seed-beds are “heaving” with weeds, including blackgrass, making it vital growers take advantage of pre-planting weed control opportunities, says Nick Myers of ProCam.

Ideal early warm and wet growing conditions appear to have either overridden blackgrass seed dormancy or allowed last autumn’s dormant seeds to germinate now, he says. “We’re literally seeing early seed-beds heaving with the weed.

“At the same time, stubbles are emerging from late-harvested cereals bright green with bindweed, germinating grain and, on headlands, sterile brome. Rape volunteers are also making their presence felt.”

Sprays spraying spray pesticides pesticide

Take advantage of pre-planting weed control opportunities, says Nick Myers of ProCam

This means growers should step up their stubble and stale seed-bed weed control efforts ahead of planting to avoid problems in-crop, he says. This is especially important with soil conditions that are making it difficult to prepare seed-beds for the greatest pre-emergence effectiveness.

“Regardless of cultivation regime, the fact that weeds and volunteers are growing so strongly this season means that at least one, and possible two, cycles of glyphosate should be possible without significantly delaying drilling.”

Green stubbles can be treated with Roundup Max before cultivation, says Mr Myers. The formulation has one hour rainfastness and a cultivation interval of as little as six hours.

It can also be used multiple times, unlike some other glyphosates, he notes. This keeps an option of a further spray ahead of drilling if cultivated ground greens-up again, as well as its inclusion in the pre-em mix if time is tight.

“I have found it useful with pre-em sprays,” he adds. “By taking out all the weed seedlings germinating in the seed-bed as well as those transplanted by cultivations, it makes it much easier to achieve the optimum post-em timing.”