Control weeds and get results

Control weeds and get results

26 February 2018

Driving high dry matter (DM) yield in forage brassica crops is key for improving total feed grown and reducing crop costs. Many factors contribute to high forage yields, including availability of moisture and nutrients and the negative impact weeds have on these.

The Cleancrop™ Brassica System offers farmers a simple way to control weeds. The seed and herbicide package controls weeds at the time of sowing (i.e. at the pre-emerge stage). Cleancrop™ brassica cultivars have been bred to tolerate DuPont Telar®, a broad-spectrum herbicide. With 22 susceptible weeds on the label, along with an additional six moderately susceptible weeds, the Cleancrop™ Brassica System has one of the broadest weed spectrums on the market.

Cam Neeld, Technical Sales Representative for Farm Source Hamilton, says: “Weed control is very important for achieving good yields in brassica crops, as well as cleaning up paddocks before they are sown back into perennial ryegrass in autumn.” A key benefit for Cam is the ability to control a large number of weeds from the beginning, which gives the crop the best possible start by eliminating competition for moisture and nutrients.

For Cam’s customer Scott Bryant, a Hamilton dairy farmer, the Cleancrop™ Brassica System has earned its place as part of his summer feed programme. Last season Scott planted a combination of Barkant® turnips, Cleancrop™ rape and maize. The combination allowed him to spread feed quality over a longer period, with Barkant® maturing around 60 to 90 days after sowing (DAS) and the Cleancrop™ rape maturing at 90 to 110 DAS, before the maize kicked in later in the season. Scott is impressed with the weed control in Cleancrop™ relative to the Barkant® on his peat flats. Having used Goliath® rape in the past, he notes the Cleancrop™ rape is higher in leaf percentage which increases the potential for higher utilisation.

The St Peter’s School Waikato demonstration farm, Owl Farm, who work alongside partners which include DairyNZ, Fonterra Farm Source, and PGG Wrightson Seeds, also used the Cleancrop™ Brassica System for the first time this season. They planted Cleancrop™ bulb turnip and forage rape to help control difficult weeds and extend feed quality. The farm has had historic issues with Shepherd’s Purse and Hedge Mustard, both of which the Telar® in the Cleancrop™ Brassica System has controlled well. Being brassica weeds, these weeds cannot be controlled in the conventional Barkant® crop and can potentially reduce yield. Yield cuts were taken before each paddock was grazed and the Barkant crops averaged between 10.5 and 13.5 tonnes (t) of DM per hectare (ha) whereas the Cleancrop™ bulb turnips yielded 15.9 tDM/ha.

Louise Cook, the demonstration manager for Owl Farm, says: “Cleancrop™ has given us a high-yielding and high-quality crop, which is fantastic. More importantly, it’s given us a big head start on weed control in these paddocks. Paddocks are selected based on pasture performance and high weed burden. Not only do we have a regime that will interrupt the weed-and-seed cycle, we now have the ability to create high-quality summer feed along the way and get the new pasture established in early autumn.”  Summer brassicas are an excellent fit for Owl Farm; the Cleancrop™ varieties provide extra benefit in weed control during the re-grassing programme and Louise says the farm will definitely be using them in the future.   

Cleancrop™ brassica cultivars are sold with 20 grams (g)/ha of Telar® herbicide applied at the pre-emerge stage. The system is adaptable across sowing methods and can be effectively used in both conventional and direct drilling situations.

The Cleancrop™ cultivar range includes Cleancrop™ leafy turnip, rape, bulb turnip, and two new additions launched in spring 2017 – Hawkestone swede and Firefly kale.

Consult your local Farm Source TSR for further information on how the Cleancrop™ Brassica System could benefit you.

Article supplied by PGG Wrightson Seeds