29 September 2000

Docks in dock on web

A NEW web-site to help producers calculate how much damage docks are doing to grass yields is available from Dow AgroSciences.

The dock calculator allows producers to work out how much money they are losing by growing weeds rather than grass, explained the companys Iain Ford.

For the calculator, producers work out how many docks they have in an area of 35m sq. This is roughly equivalent to the area of two silage trailers, said Mr Ford.

He said an average figure for that area would be about 20 docks, where there is a dock problem.

This figure is inserted into the calculator and a value for silage and grazing land can be obtained. In this instance, Mr Ford said for silage ground, with a potential yield of 11t DM/ha, the loss through dock damage would amount to 2.2t DM/ha (0.9t DM/acre) or £152/ha (£61.51/acre).

For grazing the value is far less, but still significant at £85/ha (£34.40/acre), he believed.

It is possible to log on to the dock calculator on www.grassbites.co.uk or through the Dow AgroSciences home page. On the same site producers can also glean information on weed and pest control, grassland management, a newsletter and frequently asked question and answers, he added.