19 May 1995

Weeds prove tricky

COOL, dry weather is making weed control in some crops trickier than usual this season.

Cleavers in cereals are showing "significant regrowth" after earlier treatments with temperature-dependent CMPP failed to provide adequate control after late frosts, says Dr David Stormonth of the Brown Butlin Group.

Follow-up sprays of Starane (fluroxypyr) may be needed to get on top of the problem, which is more difficult and expensive to deal with in other crops, Dr Stormonth notes.

But Lincs-based independent crop consultant Ruth East, who rarely considers using CMPP purely for cleavers control, reports that "even Starane is struggling" because of the lack of moisture. "Everything is switched off." One possible alternative, Eagle (amidosulfuron), was very slow to work last year, she notes.

Particularly difficult

Weed control in sugar beet is particularly difficult this season, says Dr Stormonth. "On average I reckon most growers will need an extra spray because the cool dry conditions have hardened the weeds off."