Where docks and other weeds are a problem in silage swards, it will pay handsomely to kill them before the silage is cut.
As well as boosting yield and quality of pit and baled silage, a pre-harvest application will ensure a clean, productive sward for a second cut of silage or grazing.
“Docks can devastate silage and grass swards. Even a moderate infestation will cut silage dry matter yield by at least a tonne/acre. Severe infestations can cut yields by up to half.
“The roots can be up to a metre deep and a single mature dock mature produces up to 80,000 seeds. The seeds remain dormant in the soil for years and germinate when conditions are suitable,” said weed control specialist Chris Maughan.
Containing two powerful chemicals, triclopyr and fluroxypyr, DoxstarPro ensures the most effective kill of the dock root system. Unlike dicamba-based products, it also has the advantage of not causing any check to grass growth.
“The ideal time to treat docks in silage swards is two to four weeks after nitrogen is applied when docks are at the perfect stage for an effective kill.
“The docks should then be actively growing and be 15-25cm high or across and before a seed head begins to appear. This is the perfect stage for long term control,” advised Chris Maughan who is technical manager with Whelehan Crop Protection.
He stressed the importance of waiting a minimum of three weeks after DoxstarPro is applied before cutting the silage. This ensures that the chemicals get fully translocated down to the root system, a vital factor in achieving long-term control.
DoxstarPro is also highly effective on chickweed and dandelions, which are particular problems in some silage swards this year.
“In pastures that were very tightly grazed during last summer’s drought, a lot of weed seeds were disturbed. These seeds germinated during the autumn and continued to grow during the mild winter and spring,” said Chris Maughan.
In addition to chickweed docks and dandelions, PastorTrio is highly effective on a wide range of other weeds, including thistles, daisies, plantain and mouse-eared chickweed which appears to be a serious problem in new swards sown last autumn.
Envy, the herbicide launched last year, is another effective option. Containing the two active ingredients fluroxypyr and florasulam, it is powerful on the same range of weeds as PastorTrio, with the exception of thistles.
As with DoxstarPro, both PastorTrio and Envy should be applied as a pre-harvest application when weeds are actively growing. And there should be an interval of at least three weeks between application and silage cutting in order for the chemicals to be fully translocated to the root system of the weeds.
For further information contact our Technical team who will be delighted to answer any queries you may have.