31 March 1995

Label approval for set-aside weeds

CONTROLLING cereal volunteers and grass weeds in set-aside is now a label option thanks to a new approval for Laser (cycloxydim). That ends the days of the practice being at growers risk only.

According to recent research, the early removal of such volunteers could be more valuable than first thought. Long-term trials conducted by CSC CropCare, Perth, show their removal from a one-year cover gave a yield benefit worth £198/ha (£80/acre) for each of the next three years.

"We were surprised by the results," comments CSC technical manager Dr Keith Dawson. Take-all, impaired establishment and pest effects were the main problems prevented.

But the graminicide must go on before May, he comments. Later treatments allow disease and aphid carry-over.

Selective herbicides allow volunteers and weeds like wild oats, blackgrass, brome and couch to be controlled while leaving the broad-leaved cover, says BASF.

Laser is the only graminicide to have label approval for treating set-aside, it claims. Other products have off-label approval for treating set-aside before the May 15 deadline, after which total herbicides may be used.