It costs just £5.50/acre for a contractor to spray perennial weeds, such as docks, thistles or ragwort, in grass fields. With significant benefits to livestock enterprises, it pays to get qualified help.
Less than 10 per cent of grassland in the UK is sprayed with a selective herbicide each year. Many of these fields are treated only once every three to four years, so it is not surprising some livestock farmers are unwilling to invest in their own sprayer, take the necessary training or have their sprayers tested every three years.
Controlling weeds in grassland can deliver significant benefits for livestock enterprises, so it may pay to take on a contractor to spray fields.
There are good reasons to employ a local contractor:
Almost all farmers will want to use a knapsack sprayer to tidy up around the farm with glyphosate, or Grazon®Pro, as a spot treatment on docks, thistles or nettles in grass fields.
To apply these products, farmers must hold an appropriate certificate.
People born before December 31, 1964, can complete a quicker and cheaper route to qualification by taking the Level 2 Award ‘Safe Use of Pesticides Replacing Grandfather Rights’. But this comes to an end on December 31, 2018.
After this date, they will have to take the full set of qualifications from the PA suite of certificates, so it is worth doing this year.
Working with a local contractor is a very good way of getting jobs done on livestock farms, where spraying for weeds will never make it to the top of the ‘to-do’ list.
It is critical to use a skilled, professional contractor who is properly insured. The wrong contractor will cost money, time and hassle. Choose a contractor based on expertise and reputation, rather than just price.
Clearly communicate with the contractor at all times. Tell him about your land, the footpaths, watercourses and other environmental risks.
Warn him about safety issues, such as hidden obstacles, overhead power-lines or dangerous terrain. Decide who is buying the herbicide and how the containers will be disposed of before the contractor arrives.
You can find fully qualified, professional contractors in your area on our website, or via the Dow Grassland app.
Use plant protection products safely. Always read the label and product information before use. For further information including warning phrases and symbols refer to the label. Corteva. Agriculture division of DowDuPont. CPC2 Capital Park, Fulbourn, Cambridge CB21 5XE. Tel: +44 (0)1462 457272 Grazon®Pro contains clopyralid and triclopyr. For grassland advice, call the technical hotline on 0800 689 8899, or visit www.grassbites.co.uk