Spud Watch: Early crops reach critical stage for weeds

Planting continues apace in the north of Scotland and most seed growers made a start in the past fortnight.

Ground conditions have been excellent so far after a dry spring – we have had less than 20mm rainfall in April and the annual total is running at half the level of this time last year at 136 mm.

Andy Steven

Andy Steven, Agrovista

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Soil temperatures have held up well in April despite a bit of a raw feel to the wind, so crops up until now haven’t suffered.

However, an icy blast is on the cards this week, so things may change and early crops could take a bit longer to emerge.

Weed control

The earlier salad crops and ware that went into the ground in March are just coming to the stage where weed control is imminent.

This year we have not suffered too badly from wind blow on the lighter sands, so there has been no reridging of crops so far.

I will be using mixes of linuron + Sencorex (metribuzin) for residual weed control, but will also use Soleto (metobromuron) as a partner with the metribuzin in anticipation of the withdrawal of Linuron next year.

Contact herbicides for the weeds already emerged will consist of combinations of diquat and either Shark (carfentrazone) or Gozai (pyraflufen-ethyl)

If there are high levels of meadow grass present, Artist (metribuzin + flufenacet) is the go-to residual. All the herbicide mixes will get some Remix oil to help retain them in the soil surface layer.