Farmers who grow maize under degradable plastic have another herbicide option this season, Syngenta has announced.

This follows Specific off-label approval (SOLA) for the use of the firm’s Calaris (mesotrione + terbuthylazine) on crops grown under plastic.

While the SOLA applies across the UK, it is likely to be of most relevance to those in Northern Ireland, where much of the forage maize is grown using the plastic mulch system, the firm said.

Establishing maize under plastic can give crops a two week kick start in spring and bring flowering forward by three weeks, commented Agrovista’s Mark Palmer.

“You have to get complete weed control first time, as there’s no post-emergence option. Following the withdrawal of atrazine, we had to look for options to partner pendimethalin; Calaris will increase the spectrum and reliability of weed control, with added residual activity.”