Boxer knocks out cleavers

11 June 1999

Boxer knocks out cleavers

By Andrew Swallow

RELIABLE early season cleavers control with a broad range of tank-mix options. That is the claim Dow Agrosciences makes for Boxer (florasulam), its new cereal herbicide.

A number of other key weeds are controlled, too, says marketing manager Bill Taylor. "It does chickweed and mayweed which Eagle doesnt do. AgrEvo claims moderate susceptibility, but Boxer is very effective."

Volunteer oilseed rape, shepherds purse and black bindweed are also controlled, but speedwells, pansies and dead nettles are missed. However, a tank-mix with a sulfonyl-urea such as Ally (metsulfuron-methyl) or Hamony-M (metsulfuron-methyl + thifensulfuron-methyl), completes the spectrum. "My favourite is Harmony-M," says Dominique Lepièce, Dow Agrosciences research and development agronomist in Belgium.

Despite having the same mode of action as sulfonyl urea herbicides, no following crop restrictions or buffer zone requirements are anticipated by the company.

"It has a very short half-life in the soil. We have done a lot of following crop work and do not expect any ploughing requirements for following crops," says Mr Taylor.

Risk to other crops in the rotation is also said to be reduced, with a water only tank-wash being adequate. But as a precaution the company backs, and would only support, the All-Clear Extra procedure.

Approval for use from Feb 1 to GS49 has been applied for, but Boxer fits best into the early use slot, possibly in the T1 tank-mix, suggests Mr Taylor.

"We have tested Boxer with a wide range of fungicides and pgrs and it looks like we will also be able to back use with the contact gram-inicides," he says. That means mixes with fops and dims such as Grasp (tralkoxydim) should be possible.

Recommended rate for large cleavers is 0.15 litres/ha, but a 0.1 litre/ha recommendation is anticipated for smaller ones. Other susceptible weeds are controlled with 0.05 litre/ha. Complete kill takes about five weeks, comparable to Eagle, says Mr Lepièce.

In Belgium, where florasulam is available this season as Primus, the 0.1 litre/ha rate costs £20/ha (£8/acre). A UK price has yet to be set, but could be at premium to other cleaver killers. "Obviously pricing will have to be competitive. But we think it is a better product therefore it should command a better price," says Mr Taylor. &#42

&#8226 Cleavers herbicide for cereals.

&#8226 Also controls chickweed, mayweeds, vol osr.

&#8226 Feb 1 – GS49 approval, but early use best.

&#8226 Wide tank-mix compatibility.

&#8226 No following crop restrictions or cultivation requirements.

&#8226 0.5 litre pack, 0.15 litres/ha full-rate.

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