Whether you're growing summer turnips, forage rape, kale or swedes this year, one key principle applies to every crop: the higher your final yield in kilograms of dry matter per ha (kg DM/ha), the cheaper the cost of feed.
If you want to keep productivity up this season and feed costs down, weed and pest control for newly sown forage brassicas have to be a top priority in the weeks ahead.
Good husbandry starts even before the brassica seedlings germinate, with a post-plant, pre-emergence herbicide.
Director CS, from Nufarm, helps limit early weed pressure and assists post-emergence options to work more effectively.
Its novel formulation means it can remain effective in the root zone and activate for four to six weeks after application depending on how much moisture is available.
Once your new seedlings are up and growing, the focus shifts to maintaining weed-free status with a robust programme of post-emergence weed surveillance and control.
This is time and money well spent but the window of opportunity is not a long one - after weeds reach a certain size and/or the crop canopy starts to close, herbicides become less effective.
The goal is to spray weed seedlings at the correct stage, which is two to eight true leaves. The crop will typically have two to four true leaves at this stage.
Prestige® can be used at this point in all forage brassicas to control a range of broadleaf weeds but is particularly useful against black nightshade and fathen.
The grassweed herbicide seQuence® gives excellent control of seedling summer grass. It is highly effective on annual and perennial ryegrass, and it will also help ensure new pasture sown after the brassica crop is free of nuisance grass species.
When it comes to insect pests, vigilance is key. 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 seen it's important to act quickly as tonnes (T) of DM can be lost.
Attack® is a broad-spectrum insecticide that provides excellent control of springtails, Argentine stem weevil, aphids, leaf miner, Nysius and diamondback moth, and white butterfly caterpillars.
Alternatively, Kaiso® 50WG can be used to control diamondback moth and white butterfly caterpillars.
For insecticide applications later in the season, when the crop canopy is dense, a new non-penetrating super spreader called Flume will help improve spray coverage on forage brassicas, which have waxy leaves that are hard to wet.
Flume® must be used with lower water rates, saving time, water and application costs.
For more advice, talk to your Farm Source Technical Sales Representative today.
Flume® and seQuence® are registered Trademarks of Nufarm Australia Ltd.
Prestige® and Kaiso® are registered Trademarks of Nufarm Ltd.
Attack® is a registered Trademark of Nufarm Technologies USA Pty Ltd.