Farming News - Control chickweed in grass now

Control chickweed in grass now

16 Apr 2018

Chickweed growing in established pastures and new sown leys will compete with grass species for space, light, water and, most importantly, nutrients such as nitrogen.

Controlling chickweed is a quick and easy way to increase the quantity and quality of grazing and silage.

Spraying with a modern, translocated herbicide – that enters through the leaves and travels throughout the plant from leaf to roots, will give the best control. Envy, a new herbicide from Dow AgroSciences works at lower temperatures than other solutions and can be sprayed from now until the end of November.

“Chickweed grows rapidly and its prostrate habit quickly colonises any gaps in a sward,” says Andy Bailey, principal biologist for Dow AgroSciences.

“One of the two active ingredients in Envy allows it to work at cooler temperatures and also when there are dramatic fluctuations between day and night. This means it can be done now and be one job less to worry about later this spring.”

Envy can be used at a 2-litre/ha dose rate in established grassland and at a lower 1.5litre/ha rate against chickweed in new sown leys – ones that were established in autumn 17 and in fields seeded this year. Getting rid of the weeds allows productive young grasses to tiller out and spread across the ground.

Envy comes in a 3-litre pack and treats 1.5ha when used at the 2-litre/ha rate. It has excellent grass safety and is rainfast in two hours. It will kill clover.

The mandatory stock exclusion is seven days and there are no herbicide residues in any resulting manure.

Envy has to be applied through a boom sprayer by an operator certified to apply professional use pesticides, such as the City and Guilds/National Proficiency Test Council (NPTC) courses PA1 (theory module) and PA2 (self-propelled, mounted or trailed horizontal boom sprayers).

The City and Guilds Level 2 Award for the Safe Use of Pesticides Replacing Grandfather Rights is another option for those born before 1964. It is a quicker and easier path, but is only available until the end of 2018.