Experts are emphasising the importance of considering an Autumn grass weed control plan, as opposed to waiting to deal with the problem in the spring.
The control of seedling weeds during the establishment of a new grass ley is often overlooked, but Wynnstay’s crop protection manager, Dr Simon Pope, says the solution is autumn herbicide spraying.
Dr Pope says: “Preparing the perfect seedbed for drilling grass seed is also providing the perfect conditions for weeds to germinate and grow. By the spring, it’s often too late since weed competition has already resulted in ‘gappy’ leys”.
“The prepared approach could also save producers money”, adds Dr Pope. “You take the weeds out before they affect the establishment of the sward, and you may be able to look at different products and rates.
A weed only has to be killed off once, so shouldn’t require a second application in the spring unless there is a persistent problem”.
It is advised that herbicides should only be applied once grass plants have reached the three leaf stage, usually falling around one month after drilling.
The age of the ley and the presence of clover also needs to be established before any herbicide recommendation can be made.
“The approach needs to be farm specific in terms of the product recommendations”, adds Dr Pope. “But there are many benefits to be seen from autumn weed management, including reducing the herbicide bill”.