Pea and bean growers will have a new pre-emergence herbicide option this spring, following the launch of Nirvana from BASF.

The product is based on a new active to the UK pulse market, imazamox, plus pendimethalin, and controls a wide range of weeds in combining peas, vining peas, winter and spring beans, explained the firm’s John Young.

In trials, it has shown particularly good control of black bindweed, charlock and redshank, plus others including cleavers and volunteer oilseed rape, he said.

Mr Young said the product will give growers another herbicide option following the loss of simazine, cyanazine and terbutryn from the end of 2007, but acknowledged it is likely to be a more expensive option.

The Processors and Growers Research Organisation’s Jim Scrimshaw said Nirvana will be a very welcome addition to the pea and bean portfolio.

“In peas and beans the most important weeds to control are the competitive climbing species such as black-bindweed and cleavers as well as other polygonums and volunteer oilseed rape.”

BASF recommends Nirvana at a rate of 3-3.5 litres/ha for average weed populations in combining peas and field beans, although up to 4.5 litres/ha can be used for more persistent control of problem weeds such as cleavers, said Mr Young.

For vining peas on light land or silt, rates should be reduced to 2.5-3.5 litres/ha, depending on soil type, as crops may be more sensitive to residual herbicide activity, he noted. “This is normal precaution for all residuals on vining peas.”