29 September 1995

Rape crops poppy problem tackled

POPPIES have joined cleavers as a major weed problem in winter oilseed rape crops in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. But a solution in the form of a new BASF herbicide should be available by next autumn.

Weak link in rotation

Michael Green, crop consultant at ADAS High Mowthorpe, who describes oilseed rape as the "weak link" in the rotation for poppy control, has tried the new product based on quinmerac and metazachlor. He says he is "delighted" with its performance.

Near 100% poppy control was achieved when the herbicide was applied to a 3m (10ft) wide strip in an experimental field of continuous oilseed rape where poppy was becoming an increasing problem. The remainder of the field had a population of over 100 poppy heads/sq m.

Yield from the sprayed strip was 30% higher, an improvement of 0.8t/ha (6.5cwt/acre).

Michael Green, ADAS High Mowthorpe, Malton, demonstrates the poppy problem facing many farmers growing oilseed rape on light land in Yorks and Lincs.