Oilseed rape growers, particularly those struggling to control cranesbill and shepherd’s purse, should appreciate recently-approved Springbok herbicide, says BASF.

Containing a new active ingredient, dimethenamid-p, plus metazachlor (as in Butisan) it has both residual and contact action.

The combination offers a unique weed range and consistent control, says the firm’s Diane Heath.

Recommended at 2.5 litres/ha, preferably pre-emergence, or post-emergence up to seven true leaves of the crop, Springbok provides better activity on all key weeds than 1.5 litres/ha (three-quarter dose) of Butisan S, she says.

In pre-emergence trials it gave 70-82% control of cranesbill species and 97% control of shepherd’s purse.

Effective in dry conditions, which can be important for early autumn drillings, it also gave 99% control of annual meadowgrass and 89% control of blackgrass, she adds.

“Dimethenamid-p has less tendency to bind to trash, and this combined with superior soil adsorption means the active ingredient stays in the weed germination zone.

It is also less dependent on soil moisture for activity.”

Uptake of dimethenamid-p is via hypocotyls, coleoptiles and roots, whereas metazachlor is via roots alone.

“These results show that Springbok has greater bio-availability than straight metazachlor,” explains Mrs Heath.

“If your primary weed target is any geranium species or shepherd’s purse, then Springbok is the product of choice.

If growers are looking for general weed control with consistency under dry conditions then, once again, Springbok should be the first product that comes to mind.”

Dose for dose it is expected to be 5% more expensive than 2 litres/ha of Butisan.

Difficult-to-control weeds like cranesbill and shepherd’s purse, which can be surprisingly competitive early on, are increasing, says Masstock’s David Langton.

“Springbok is a welcome addition.

Some growers have really struggled to get good control, so a premium over Butisan is justifiable.

“Better activity in drier conditions has to be an advantage, and with more min-till going on better activity in trashy conditions will be useful.”

Springbok offers growers the option of targeting specific problems with a metazochlor variant, says Hutchinsons’ Dick Neale.

Cranesbill and shepherd’s purse are not widespread, but can pose big problems where they exist, he says.

“Its grassweed activity looks to be a bit more consistent than other metazachlor-based mixtures.”

andrew.blake@rbi.co.uk