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FARM MANAGEMENT: Herbicides in silage and hay swards
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FARM MANAGEMENT: Herbicides in silage and hay swards
on 10 May 2019
The benefits of switching to Envy and PastorTrio herbicides in silage and hay swards

“I was spraying every year but still had dirty hay and silage swards. I was also getting stunting of the grass after spraying which damaged yields.

“Since I started using Envy and PastorTrio, I achieve clean swards the following year and there is no stunting of the grass.”

These are the views of Stephen O’Grady who changed two years ago from cheaper sprays to the two new herbicides Envy and PastorTrio.

SWITCH TO ENVY

Stephen runs a baling contracting business at Turnings, Straffan, Co Kildare. He has also built a successful business selling haylage and hay to stud farms and riding schools in the area surrounding his home in Straffan.

When the translocated herbicide Envy was launched onto the market two years ago, Stephen was among one of the first users.

Containing the two potent active ingredients fluroxypyr and florasulam, it is powerful on docks, common chickweed, dandelions and buttercups. It is also highly effective on a range of other weeds including daisies, plantain and mouse-eared chickweed and has the big advantage of not stunting grass growth.

Stephen had previously used hormone-based herbicides on his rented meadows, which provided ineffective weed control and stunted grass growth after spraying.

A classic example of this was seen in a 34-acre field which he had been renting for a number of years.

One year, Stephen obtained a total of 570 bales of haylage off the field. The following year, when he sprayed it with a hormone-based herbicide a few weeks before cutting, grass growth was severely checked, resulting in a yield of just 440 bales.

There was no change in fertiliser levels and no difference in grass growth patterns.

He also used products containing fluroxypyr as the only ingredient, which resulted in poor weed control the following year.

APPLICATION RATE

The recommended application rate for Envy in established swards is 2l/ha in a minimum of 200l of water.

Stephen has found that 1.5l/ha gives effective control of chickweed, buttercups, dandelions and docks.

Where a sward has a very heavy infestation of weeds, he is prepared to go back the next year in order to clean up any residual weeds.

A rented field that was heavily infested with chickweed and a mixture of other weeds was sprayed with Envy last year and was clean at cutting. There is re-emergence of chickweed this year, however it will be sprayed again with Envy in order to get a complete kill.

PASTORTRIO FOR THISTLES

Where thistles are also among the weed population in a sward, Stephen uses PastorTrio.

This is another recently introduced herbicide, containing fluroxypyr and florasulam, the two active ingredients found in Envy, and it also contains clopyralid.

PastorTrio is powerful on the same range of weeds as Envy but has the added advantage of killing thistles. It should be applied at 2l/ha in a minimum of 200l of water to silage and hay swards and permanent pastures. As with Envy, it does not affect grass growth.

TIMING OF SPRAY

Best results are achieved from Envy and PastorTrio by spraying when weeds are actively growing and are at the right growth stage for an effective kill.

In silage and hay swards, the best time to spray is two to four weeks after fertiliser is applied when weeds should be at the perfect stage for an effective kill.

The following is a good rule of thumb for the ideal growth stages of some of the main weeds:

  • Docks should be 15-25cm high or wide and before a seed head begins to emerge.
  • Thistles should have four to 10 leaves and be 15-25cm high.
  • Nettles should be sprayed before flowering.
  • While good results can be achieved by spraying buttercups at the flowering stage, very best control is achieved by spraying before they flower.
  • When spraying with Envy or PastorTrio, it is important to wait at least three weeks before cutting hay or silage.

    This ensures that the chemicals get fully translocated to the root system of the weeds, a vital factor in long-term control.

    PASTORTRIO AT A GLANCE

  • Contains three powerful ingredients - florasulam, fluroxypyr and clopyralid.
  • Weeds controlled include buttercups, dandelions, docks, common and mouse-eared chickweed, thistles, redshank, fat hen, charlock, mayweed, fumitory and plantain.
  • Highly effective in silage and hay swards and permanent pastures. Also, the perfect herbicide for reseeded pastures.
  • ENVY AT A GLANCE

  • Contains two powerful ingredients - fluroxypyr and florasulam.
  • Effective against the same range of weeds as PastorTrio, with the exception of thistles.
  • Highly effective in silage and hay swards, permanent pastures and reseeded swards.
  • Works well in cooler conditions and can be applied up to November 30th, making it an excellent product for autumn-sown reseeds.
  • For more information, click here

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