13 October 1995

Less spray for cleavers claim

GROWERS using pendimethalin-based autumn herbicides last season needed to spray less for cleavers in the spring than those applying alternatives. So says Cyanamid, which quotes Farmstat survey figures to back its claim.

These showed that on the 1800 farms surveyed, only 18.7% of the area treated with Stomp (pendimethalin) required a subsequent cleavers over-spray of, say, Starane (fluroxypyr), says technical support officer Alison Deane.

By contrast 29.5% and 42.6% of the areas treated with diflufenican (DFF) products and ipu respectively needed over-spraying.

"We certainly dont claim 100% cleavers control from Stomp," says Miss Deane. "But in an overall programme where cleavers is a problem you can certainly help yourself by using it. It should mean you have to go back less vigorously in the spring."

Suffolk-based independent agronomist, Stephen Cousins, agrees in principle but leans towards DFF mainly on grounds of cost. "I used to be a fairly big user of Stomp, and the amount of re-spraying needed was negligible,"says Mr Cousins.

But with DFF products "pulled to pieces" in mixtures, their overall impact on broad-leaved weeds has been declining. "So I am tempted to leave things to the spring anyway. You dont have to chase every broad-leaved weed in sight," he says. Growing problems like Shepherds Needle, unaffected by DFF, add to the case for a spring follow-up, he adds. &#42