Spraying weed-infested paddocks with an effective herbicide over the coming weeks will pay handsomely in clean, productive swards for the rest of the season and beyond.
Envy, the grassland herbicide launched in recent years, has added a new dimension to weed control in equine paddocks.
It contains two powerful ingredients – fluroxypyr and florasulam. The mix of these potent chemicals with two different modes of action ensures a wide spectrum of weed control.
It is powerful on buttercups, dandelions, plantains, daisies, docks and chickweed and, as there are no issues with residues in manure, it is particularly suited to horse paddocks.
Chris Maughan, technical manager with Whelehan Crop Protection, which distributes Envy on the Irish market, advised that best control is achieved by spraying when weeds are actively growing and before they reach the flowering stage.
“With docks, best results are got from spraying when they are 15-25cm high and before a seed head begins to emerge.
“While good results can be achieved by spraying buttercups at the flowering stage, very best control is got by spraying before they flower.
“As growing conditions now begin to improve, many weed-infested pastures should be reaching the ideal time for spraying from around mid-May onwards. Paddocks can be grazed with horses and other animals seven days after Envy is applied,” said Chris Maughan.
Envy is ideal for silage and hay swards
Envy is also ideal for silage and hay swards. Spraying before silage or hay is cut is by far the best option.
“Where weeds are a problem in silage or hay swards, the ideal time to spray them is two to four weeks after fertiliser is applied.
“Weeds should then be actively growing and be at the right stage for an effective kill. It is important to leave an interval of at least three weeks between spraying and cutting the crop.
“This ensures that the chemicals get translocated right down to the root system of the weeds, which is vital for long-term control,” advised Chris Maughan.
For best control with herbicides such as Pastor Trio and Thistlex, thistles should be sprayed when they have four to ten leaves and before flowering.
Advice on controlling thistles
Where thistles are among the weeds population in grazing or silage/hay swards, Pastor Trio should be the herbicide of choice.
It contains three active ingredients – florasulam, fluroxypyr and clopyralid, a combination which ensures a broad spectrum of weed control. Pastor Trio is effective on the same range of weeds as Envy and is also powerful on thistles.
Where thistles are the sole weed in grazing or silage/hay swards, which is often the case, the specialist thistle herbicide Thistlex should be used.
Best control is achieved from spraying when thistles are actively growing, have four to 10 leaves and are 15-25cm high.
As with Envy, when using either Pastor Trio or Thistlex, keep animals off grazing pasture for seven days after grazing and leave at least three weeks between spraying and cutting silage or hay swards.
Grazon Pro is ideal for spot spraying a wide range of weeds at fences, railings and field boundaries.
Grazon Pro is the perfect spot treatment
For spot treating thistles, nettles, briars and other troublesome weeds at railings, ditches and hedges, Grazon Pro is the perfect product.
Containing two powerful root killing ingredients – triclopyr and clopyralid – it is powerful on a wide range of weeds including nettles, thistles, briars, docks, buttercups, gorse, cow parsley and hogweed.
It should be applied at a rate of 60ml in 10 litres of water using a conventional knapsack sprayer, a quadbike sprayer or a suitable lance on a tractor mounted sprayer. Keep animals off treated areas for seven days.
Grazon Pro is also an ideal spot treatment where weed infestations across paddocks are 5% or less. As with the other systemic herbicides, best control is achieved where weeds are sprayed before the flowering stage.
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