23 June 1995

Cut your costs and the set-aside cover

CHEAPER destruction of set-aside cover is on the cards thanks to new, low rate combinations of potent herbicides.

Zeneca Crop Protection is looking at low dose mixes of total weedkiller Touchdown (glyphosate trimesium) and selective herbicides to boost weed control, but cut costs.

Problem weeds like docks, thistles, cleavers, mayweed, volunteer rape and potatoes need high rates of Touchdown for a complete kill, explains technical services manager Steve Wilson. But grass weeds can be killed with just 1.5l/ha (1pint/acre). By adding a more active ingredient to control the broad-leaved weeds, the typical £25/ha (£10/acre) chemical cost can be almost halved.

Fluroxypyr (Starane 2) and an unnamed sulfonyl-urea show most promise, says Mr Wilson. Further work is needed to fine-tune rates to suit different conditions before firm recommendations can be made, he adds. &#42