Offering growers valuable choice and flexibility for tackling blackgrass this Autumn

Posted on 07 September 2018

As an established family business of more than 25 years in the UK Agricultural industry, Clayton Plant Protection works closely with our customers to provide alternative, high quality and flexible solutions for growers. With an expanding portfolio of performance proven generic formulations and a wide range of parallel registrations, Clayton gives growers today the vital choices needed for tackling key weed problems in the rotation such as blackgrass.

Seasonal effects, cultural control and targeted chemistry all need consideration..

The hot, dry weather experienced recently across the UK has important implications for blackgrass control and seed dormancy this autumn. Sufficient soil moisture is needed for blackgrass seeds to germinate, but due to the hot, dry summer conditions, it is likely that seeds will have a relatively low dormancy this year, meaning they will germinate quickly once it rains significantly in the early autumn period. This should enable growers good control opportunities prior to drilling as quick flushes of blackgrass may occur. Robust pre-emergence herbicide strategies should also be possible to target as big a reduction as possible in blackgrass weed seedling populations. Clayton can provide growers the ideal platform for blackgrass control this autumn with focus on core ‘residual stacking’ in the weed control programme. Product choice is vital for tackling problem blackgrass on farm, especially in light of recently increasing consolidation within the large multinationals, which can take that vital choice away from growers.

Blackgrass is a highly competitive threat to UK cereal growers and can typically require as few as 10 plants /m2 to result in a potential 5-10% yield loss in wheat. Good grass weed control is essential in rotations with autumn-sown cereals. Cultural control is essential in an effective blackgrass management strategy, and practices such as introducing a spring crop into your rotation, delaying drilling until at least mid-October if possible to allow time for stale seedbed techniques to be used with glyphosate pre-drilling will all help to provide a better platform for residual stacking of pre-emergence herbicides. Tank mixes (where several products are applied together) or stacking and sequencing (where several products are applied in close succession) are more effective at controlling grass weed populations than individual products. Residual modes of action are vital for effective blackgrass control and pre-emergence options are less affected by resistance issues than some post emergence options. Recent AHDB research showed flufenacet is a key active in blackgrass control programmes but also highlighted that further actives are necessary to achieve good levels of control.

Effective residual stacking is key..

Will Ridgwell, UK Sales & Marketing Manager at Clayton explains “A flufenacet-based product is a great starting point for blackgrass this autumn. With a generic range of co-formulated flufenacet + diflufenican options new for 2018 we are ideally placed to provide cost-effective, high performance solutions for the control of blackgrass and other problem weeds. Our products Clayton Facet™, Clayton Sabre™ and Clayton Aspect™ are formulated to a high quality in the UK.”

“Within a robust blackgrass control programme the herbicide stack should be tailored according to the specific farm and field situation in order to maximise overall control levels and performance. With a broad supporting range of other key herbicides and actives such as Clayton Comply™, Clayton Obey™ (prosulfocarb), Clayton El Nino™ (diflufenican) and Pendifin 400SC (pendimethalin), our residual product range allows for a targeted, robust blackgrass programme, and additional control of other grass and broadleaved weeds.”

Prepare your field to maximise your herbicide programme..

Field and seedbed conditions can affect the efficacy of residual herbicides, so field cultivation decisions will have an impact on weed populations next spring. It is good practice to help achieve best performance from herbicides such as Clayton Facet and Clayton Sabre (flufenacet + diflufenican) to ensure a consolidated seedbed, without trash and too many clods. With a good seedbed and effective timing (applying pre-ems within 48 hours of drilling) this will help improve overall product performance and ensure a strong start to your weed control programme, within an integrated long-term approach to blackgrass control.

Offering top performance generic and parallel products to combat blackgrass..

Dave O’Mahony, Commercial Director, Clayton Plant Protection Ltd explains that “Our broad portfolio and comprehensive compatibility support ensure Clayton provides an all-round premium service to growers and agronomists. And our wide range of parallel licence products can significantly add to a grower’s weed control armoury and often at much better cost input value to the farmer, where costs involved in effective blackgrass control are escalating. Similarly, our range of generic products are also developed, authorised and manufactured to guarantee the highest quality formulations, best efficacy and performance for our growers at cost-effective pricing.”

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