PULSE GROWERS should be thankful for the good range of herbicides still to hand this season, suggests Jim Scrimshaw of the PGRO.

Beyond December 2007 several useful products will vanish from the spray armoury. That is because some of the active ingredients are not being supported by their manufacturers under the EU pesticide review, he explains.

Opogard/Batallion, Reflex T, Fortrol, Bullet are all set to disappear. Simazine too will go, and there is no guarantee that manufacture of any of them will continue to ensure supplies up to that date.

“Of the materials left on the market there will be, for pre-emergence weed control in spring beans, trifluralin and Centium,” says Mr Scrimshaw.

“Pre-em applications are important in beans because there is only one post-em broad-leaved weed material approved.

“Basagran, which is expensive, does not have a wide spectrum but is a useful follow-up treatment to control species such as volunteer oilseed rape and cleavers.”

Centium is effective on cleavers, chickweed, shepherds purse & fools parsley, but its spectrum of control is usually increased by applying it with a partner product, he explains.

“Trifluralin is cheap, but again has a limited control spectrum. It’s good on knotgrass and black bindweed but poor on cruciferous weeds, such as charlock and shepherds purse.

PGRO plans work this season on material to complement these two active ingredients pre-emergence after 2007, plus some work to boost post-emergence flexibility.

“These materials should be available before 2007 – possibly earlier,” says Mr Scrimshaw.

andrew.blake@rbi.co.uk