Careful husbandry leads to bumper yields

1 November 2015

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Controlling weeds and insect pests now means your crops will have every opportunity to grow to their full potential. The more Dry Matter per hectare (DM/ha) they produce at maturity, the cheaper the cost of that DM on a cost per kg (c/kg) basis.

Best practice in weed control starts even before crop seedlings germinate, with pre-emergence herbicide, and a new product in this category is Director™ CS, from Nufarm.

Director CS kills the main yield-limiting grass and broadleaf weeds in both fodder beet and forage brassicas before crops can be adversely affected by weed competition.

The novel formulation of Director CS means it can remain effective in the root zone and activate four to six weeks after application, depending on how much moisture is available.

When crop seedlings are up out of the ground, the focus shifts to maintaining weed-free status using post-emergence herbicides. These herbicides give the best results when applied to actively growing small seedling weeds before the crop canopy closes and are typically applied three to six weeks after sowing.

For forage brassica crops, post-emergence broadleaf herbicides include Prestige®, Archer® and Kamba® 500 (registered for kale only), while SeQuence® will take care of grass weeds. Prestige or Archer can be tank mixed with SeQuence for control of both broadleaf and grass weeds in forage brassica crops, and insecticide can be added if required.

In fodder beet crops, Archer can be used for post-emergence broadleaf weed control.

Remember correct timing and rates are essential for successful control of both pre and post-emergence weeds in spring-sown crops. It’s also important to factor in plantback periods for the crops that will be following on.

When it comes to controlling insect pests, vigilance is key. Greasy cutworm, aphids, springtails, diamondback moth, white butterfly caterpillars, leaf miner, Nysius and Argentine stem weevil can cause considerable economic damage in a surprisingly short period of time. It’s a good idea to check carefully for pests every one or two days in the first few weeks after crop emergence.

As the crop matures, weekly checks should suffice but whenever insect damage is evident it’s important to act quickly as tonnes of DM can be lost.

Greasy cutworm can be severely damaging in the early stages of crop emergence, and can completely defoliate seedlings and wipe out large areas of crop if populations are high.

Kaiso® 50WG offers effective control of this pest and others in forage brassicas, in a unique Wettable Granule (WG) formulation using patented Sorbie® technology. This combines the efficacy of Emulsifiable Concentrate (EC) formulations with the stability, volumetric measuring and enhanced operator safety benefits of a WG formulation.

Attack is a leading insecticide in this market, and its usefulness has just improved with the addition of a further important pest to its label.

As well as aphids, springtails, leaf miner, Nysius, white butterfly and diamond back moth, Attack is now registered for control of Argentine stem weevil in both forage brassicas and fodder beet crops.

This large spectrum is achieved through five different modes of action, namely contact, ingestion, fumigant, translaminar and repellency.

This versatility means you only need to buy, store and handle one insecticide to control seven key insect pests.

For more advice on growing bumper yields this season, talk your local Fonterra Farm Source Technical Sales Rep today.

™Director is a trademark of Nufarm Australia Limited.

®Prestige is a registered trademark of Nufarm Limited. Kamba, SeQuence, Sorbie and Archer are registered trademarks of Nufarm Australia Limited. Attack is a registered trademark of Nufarm USA Technologies Pty Ltd.

Article supplied by Nufarm