Buttercups - know your target
There are 3 main species of buttercup: creeping, meadow and bulbous. Read on to find out how to distinguish the three species.
- Distinguished from other species by the way it grows and spreads via runners.
- Leaves are hairy, have 3 lobes and appear to have frayed edges.
- Flowering from May to August with golden cupped flowers measuring approximately 2cm across.
- Can grow up to 50cm in height.
- Flowering from April to October with yellow flowers.
- Each flower comprises of five shiny petals.
- Flowers measure approximately 2cm across.
- Can grow up to 1m in height.
- Has a bulb like, swollen underground stem.
- The stem above ground is hairy.
- Leaves have 3 lobes.
- Flowering from March to May with bright yellow flowers.
- Grows 10-30cm in height.
For best control of all 3 species, use Envy® at 2.0 L/ha. Apply when weeds are actively growing and before flowering. Useful control of buttercup can still be obtained post-flowering, but control can be 10% less than from a pre-flowering application.
Thistle control - best time to treat and with what
Why and when to control thistles:
- Reduces the area of grass available for grazing.
- Facilitates the spread of Orf.
- Treat thistles at the vegetative ‘rosette’ stage, 150mm-250mm across or high, use the spray timing indicator in the Corteva Forage App to identify the ideal growth stage.
- Cut down tall, flowering thistles, and treat when sufficient regrowth has occurred.
- Don’t treat stressed weeds, as they will not be actively growing, and herbicides will not be translocated down to the roots.
Herbicide options for thistle control:
- Where thistles dominate, spray with Thistlex® at 1.0 L/ha. Thistlex controls all species of thistles.
- If the area taken by the thistles is less than 5%, it is more economical to spot treat with Grazon® Pro.
Re-growth of docks post cutting and when to treat
Spraying 2-3 weeks after the first cut when sufficient regrowth has occurred, and weeds are at a similar growth stage (dinner plate sized) is an excellent opportunity to get good levels of control. If spray contractors are used, make sure they are booked in to apply a spray 2-3 weeks after silage cut is taken.
For best control, apply Doxstar® Pro at least three weeks before second cut silage is made, so that the translocated herbicide has time to get right down into the roots to give thorough long-term control, but also to minimise the amount of weed biomass that will be cut and put into the silage clamp.
Where docks are present, weed control is a small cost relative to the gain in extra grass and silage produced. If the interval between spraying and cutting is reduced, typically 90% of the active ingredient reaches the growing tips by 14 days and 95% by 21 days, but there could still be weed biomass that has yet to fully decay.
Top tips when spot treating via a knapsack
Corteva's top tips when spot treating weeds via a knapsack:
- Ensure relevant spray qualifications are held (PA1 and PA6).
- Do read the label before use and follow instructions.
- Do wear appropriate PPE when making an application: coverall, gloves, and boots.
- Check the knapsack sprayer is clean, in good condition, safe to use and working correctly.
- Double check dose rates and mixing quantities using the product label. The rate for Grazon® Pro is 60ml in 10L water.
- Do fill up in an appropriate pesticide handling area and avoid splashes or spills when filling.
- Check wind direction is away from – or will not cause spray to drift to any environmentally sensitive areas or water courses.
- Do clean the tank and lance thoroughly after spraying.
- Never be tempted to overdose by either adding more pesticide than is needed when preparing the spray solution or during the application.
- Avoid walking through the area you have already sprayed.
- Do not apply so much spray that it runs off the target.
For more knapsack spray tips click here.
Ragwort - control guidance
Guidance for controlling ragwort:
- Ragwort is one of the most frequent causes of plant poisoning of livestock.
- Livestock will not usually eat ragwort while it is growing, but when it has been cut and has wilted it becomes much more attractive and palatable.
- It is important to target smaller plants, showing active growth, whilst they are still at the rosette stage, up to 200mm across and treat before the ragwort moves into stem extension. At this stage they will senesce more quickly enabling stock return sooner.
- For best control, use Forefront® T in cattle and sheep grazing fields only. Grazing animals should be excluded from treated areas until any ragwort has completely recovered or died and there is no visible sign of the dead weed.
Forage Agronomy App - weed cost feature showcased
Use our FREE Grassland Weed Cost Calculator to see how weeds are affecting your productivity.
Simply enter the following information:
- Percentage weed cover or count the number of weeds in an area measuring 5m x7m.
- Expected grass yield.
- Field size.
The app then calculates how many extra sheep or beef cattle you could be grazing, how many extra litres of milk you could be producing and how many more tonnes of grass you could be yielding by controlling the weeds.
A handy tool for increasing productivity. Download the Forage App for free now to try out this feature.
Not sure which Pioneer silage inoculant to choose for second cut grass? Take a look at the decision tree and inoculant descriptions below or click here to find out more about our silage inoculant range.
1188: Ensures good preservation in wetter grass because of the unique proprietary synergistic bacterial strains it contains. They work in harmony to rapidly and efficiently lower the pH.
11G22 RR: In addition to lowering the pH quickly, it is able to achieve aerobic stability from as soon as 7 days after sealing when compared to non-Rapid React inoculants.
11GFT: Triple mode of action; improves fermentation, aerobic stability and fibre digestibility
11A44: Dramatically reduces heating in a wide range of high dry matter silages including high dry matter grass. Good choice where heating challenge is high due to long chop length, summer or slow feed-out, or low compaction
Q: Are creeping thistle and spear thistle both controlled by Thistlex®?
A: Yes, Thistlex controls all species of thistle. It has an approval for boom applications only. If you want to control thistles in grass that will be cut for silage or hay, then treat with Grazon® Pro.
Q: How can I minimise risk to livestock when spraying ragwort?
A: Spray before stem extension so that plants decay quickly. Only return stock once all plant material has decayed and is no longer visible.
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