New Pressure to Combat Cleavers

CHANGES IN farming practices could require cleavers in cereals to be controlled earlier.

The trends towards earlier drilling at lower seed rates using reduced tillage techniques, and increased first wheat areas will all contribute to earlier and higher cleavers pressure, warns Rothamsted Research”s John Cussans.

 “Not only will more break crops lead to more cleavers [because control in break crops is less], but they will germinate far quicker where min-till is used before early drilled cereals. Low seed rates offer less crop competition so seedlings can grow aggressively very early in the season.”

That means cleavers will need to be controlled earlier, says Dow AgroSciences” Stuart Jackson. “Suppressing cleaver growth in the autumn with 50-75ml/ha Boxer may delay the onset of severe crop competition in the spring and provide flexibility in sprayer workloads.”

Conversely, fields not sprayed in the autumn will require a high spray priority in the spring if yields loss is to be minimised, he warns.