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Tips for targeting pre-harvest glyphosate use

AHDB has recently updated guidance to help growers target the appropriate use of glyphosate in the run up to harvest.


Abby   Kellett

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Abby   Kellett
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Updated as part of a new stewardship initiative, the information can be used alongside label recommendations and harvest interval restrictions to help keep crop residues to a minimum.

 

Central to the guidance is a series of visual tests which can be used to estimate when grain/seed has less than 30 per cent moisture content to help target any application.


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Visual test for oilseed rape

In oilseed rape, glyphosate applications can be used to facilitate direct combining, normally within 21 days of application.

 

The following visual test can be used to estimate when seeds have less than 30 per cent moisture content.

 

Step one: Select an area of the crop that is representative of the field as a whole. Then choose an area of canopy that is typical of the maturity of most of the crop. Depending on the canopy, this may be pods in the middle of the main raceme or on the side branches. At random, pick 20 pods from several plants.

 

Step two: Open each pod and observe how many seeds have changed from green to brown. If this change is observed in at least two-thirds of the seeds per pod in at least 15 of the pods picked, then the earliest correct stage for spraying has been reached. Typically, the crop should be sprayed within four days. If the weather is very cool, however, this can be extended to seven days.

 

Step three: Check the assessment is representative of the entire field (repeat steps one and two, as required)

Visual tests for cereals

Visual tests for cereals

For cereals, glyphosate applications can reduce green material, including immature tillers, and improve harvest efficiency and grain storage. This can be particularly valuable in wet seasons. Grain has less than 30 per cent moisture content around the ‘hard dough’ stage (Growth Stage 87) and normally occurs one to three weeks prior to harvest.

 

The following visual tests can be used to guide whether a crop is at or below 30 per cent moisture content:

  1. The peduncle test (wheat and barley): When the peduncle, situated at the top of the stalk (immediately below the ear), starts to lose its green colour and turns brown
  2. The thumbnail test (wheat, barley and oats): When a thumbnail indentation holds on 20 grains collected from various areas in the crop (from the centre of each ear).
  3. The split grain test (wheat): When grains are cut in half and 75 per cent have a dark brown pigment strand in the crease, the grain has reached 30 per cent moisture. If all the grains are marked, moisture content is estimated at below 30 per cent.
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