Syngenta graminicide Axial (pinoxaden) gives barley growers another option for controlling blackgrass this autumn, according to the firm’s Rod Burke.

“There are not too many options for growers at the moment. Ninety-eight percent of sprays are based on either IPU, chlortoluron, pendimethalin or trifluralin,” he said.

But good feedback on spring applications of Axial in winter barley against the weed had encouraged Syngenta.

“And it is better if used early – weeds should be no larger than two to three leaves for optimum control.”

The firm would be recommending its use in sequence with a residual pre-emergence herbicide, he said.

In trials a mix of Axial and IPU following a pre-emergence spray of Defy plus trifluralin gave 98% control.

“It gets you to where you need to be.”

The product is unaffected by cold weather, he added.

“Don’t leave it until the spring even if it is cold.”