23 June 1995

Cleavers under control

CLEAVERS control in oilseed rape will be easier next year thanks to a new herbicide, claims BASF.

It will help growers avoid big hidden losses from the weed, it adds.

The product is a mix of metazachlor, as in Butisan, and quinmerac, a molecule new to the UK. Codenamed BAS526H, it was sold as Butisan Star in Germany last autumn. It is expected to be in the UK next autumn.

"It will give growers the chance of one-shot broad-leaved weed control for the first time," says product manager Andrew Jones. Autumn-applied products are weak on cleavers at normal commercial rates, so an extra pass with more expensive chemistry is often needed, he explains.

Many growers accept higher infestations compared with other crops. But that costs dear. Just 2-3 cleavers a sq m can cost £80-160/ha (£32-65/acre) in lost yield and extra drying and contamination costs, says Mr Brown.

BAS526H can be applied pre-or early post-emergence, and controls most broad-leaved weeds including small cleavers, poppies and chickweed, plus blackgrass and meadow grasses.

BASF is coy on price, but is looking for a premium over Butisan. &#42