Maize drilling© Tim Scrivener

Maize growers are being urged to remove weeds early with a pre-emergence residual herbicide to avoid yield losses ahead of drilling, which is expected to start later this month.

Simon Draper, Maize Growers Association consultant and agronomist, says growers should look to control weeds early to avoid competition before the four-leaf stage.

“A pre-emergence herbicide buys you time if a post-emergence treatment is delayed,” he tells Farmers Weekly.

See also: Advice on selecting maize varieties for biogas in 2016

With maize drilling likely to start about mid-April, Mr Draper says he always recommends a pre-emergence treatment if soil conditions allow, as it is better if weeds are controlled with the maize crop before the two-leaf stage.

If treatment is left beyond the crop’s four-leaf stage, there could be a serious impact on final yield, he says.

Iain Hamilton, technical manager at agrochemical group Syngenta, also advocates pre-emergence treatments especially in weedy situations when a huge flush of weeds would be too much for a single post-emergence spray.

Popular options for pre-emergence treatments include pendimethalin, or in a mixture with S-metolachlor (Dual Gold) or with dimethenamid-P (Wing-P).