SUGAR BEET growers have been warned to keep a check on creeping thistle.

“Growers and distributors are starting to report significant levels of creeping thistle which is incredibly competitive in sugar beet,” said Dow AgroSciences agronomist Rene Pollak.

“Failure to control the aggressive, tall growing perennial weed can reduce yields by up to two-thirds by shading and competition for moisture.”

Mike May, from Broom‘s Barn Research Station, advises up to two doses of DowShield (clopyralid) in the post-emergent weed control programme for complete control.

“The first treatment should be at 0.5 l/ha while the thistle crops are at a rosette stage.

“For complete control this should be followed up with a further application of 1.0 l/ha up to four weeks later, but before the end of June.”