With forecasts suggesting an imminent improvement in weather, ambient soil temperatures will soon be at a suitable level for drilling maize.
Experts explain this ’suitable level’ is between 8-10⁰C at drilling depth at 9am on seven consecutive days.
As a result, growers should turn their attention to ensuring the crop establishes well and, importantly, weeds are controlled, says Peter Stacey, Bayer’s maize campaign manager.
For Mr Stacey, once maize has established, the priority has to be controlling weeds, in order to protect yields and the quality of the crop. He says: “Maize is a poor competitor and because of this it is vital to stay on top of weed control.”
To ensure a weed-free environment, it is essential growers address the problem weeds which have caused issues in the past. Pre-emergence herbicides are a useful strategy to control weeds from the start; however, the efficacy of these treatments can be poor, particularly under dry conditions.
Post-emergence herbicides are known to be a more economical way of tackling weeds in maize, and a treatment such as bromoxynil, with a low resistance risk, not only targets a broad spectrum of weeds but is also effective against challenging plants such as bindweed and fat hen.