31 May 1996

Failing to spray hits production

FAILING to spray grass swards that contain 5-10% weeds loses productivity, according to Robert Brown of Worcs-based Farmers Crop Chemicals.

He said that intensive production methods and difficult grass growing conditions were encouraging weed growth. The most detrimental of these weeds were docks. The percentage dock cover equalled the percentage production lost.

"There is scope to treat weeds in silage regrowth," he said. But weed control would be poor where regrowth was slow due to lack of moisture.

Chemicals were available to control the main weeds such as docks and chickweed. But no one product controlled all weeds.

For effective control fields should be sprayed several times, but in practice spring and autumn should be sufficient. However, spraying in early spring knocked grass growth, warned Mr Brown.