14 September 2001
OSR area rise means spray shortage

By FARMERS WEEKLY staff

A SURPRISE increase in oilseed rape plantings has led to a temporary shortage of early herbicides for the crop, it was revealed this week.

Diane Lovesy, BASF product manager, revealed the manufacturer had underestimated oilseed plantings resulting in shortages of key products.

“We had anticipated a 5% increase, but feedback suggests there could be 5% on top of that.” That would put this seasons crop at 350,000ha.

ADASs David Parish says metazachlor-based products Butisan and especially Katamaran have been hard to come by recently, which could mean weedy crops.

“It is a big concern. They are the main pre-emergence and early post-em products, and we probably need a bit more than usual this year as more growers find they have difficult blackgrass.”

It could disrupt the timing of metazachlor applications: a useful tool against resistant blackgrass, it is less effective once the weed gets past the two-leaf stage.

Katamaran (metazachlor + quinmerac) is most widely substituted for Butisan (metazachlor) where cleavers are expected to be a problem.

The shortage was confirmed by Bob Mills of Banks Cargill: “Id say about half the farms I see that had planned to use it have had to go for an alternative.”

He suggests alternatives for growers still planning pre-em treatments without Katamaran should include Centium (clomazone) with trifluralin or Butisan.

Butisan with Centium should be just as good as Katamaran, he says, although it does work out a little more expensive.

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