Mild winter spells danger from increased weed pressure

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With the winter’s exceptionally mild conditions continuing to dominate UK weather patterns, pea and bean growers should use a pre-emergence application of linuron and pendimethalin to protect spring sown crops from prolific weed populations.

That is the advice from crop protection specialists, Adama, who advise that an effective pre-emergence treatment is the best way of kick-starting this spring’s herbicide programme.

“The 2015-16 winter has, to date, been one of the mildest since records began,” explains Gemma Sparrow, Technical Specialist for Adama Agricultural Solutions. “Despite a brief cold snap during the first half of January, weather conditions across the majority of the UK have remained abnormally mild. Spring weeds are, by nature, extremely aggressive, but if these conditions continue into February and March, the threat of high weed populations is likely to be exacerbated further.”

Peas and beans lack the vigour to dominate more competitive weeds such as Black bindweed, Chickweed and Fat hen, and therefore need species specific herbicide protection to enable them to establish and grow away from weeds which would otherwise out-compete them.

“The most effective pre-emergence protection plans will contain a mixture of two main actives, linuron and pendimethalin,” Gemma continues. “The former provides protection against key targets such as Black Nightshade, Cleavers and Black bindweed, while the latter works against Annual meadowgrass, Knotgrass and a wide selection of broad-leaved weeds.”

Gemma therefore advocates the use of a tank mix of Afalon® (450g/l linuron) and Anthem® (400g/l pendimethalin)* to be applied as soon as ground conditions allow spraying equipment to travel.

“Afalon is an effective residual herbicide for the control of a broad range of key spring weeds in peas, beans and a number of other field vegetable crops,” Gemma outlines. “It provides a cost effective solution to the start of early season weed control programmes and is a flexible tank mix partner for pendimethalin products such as Anthem.

“Together, Afalon and Anthem have the ability to remove weed competition early and give spring-sown crops of peas and beans the best chance of reaching their full potential.”

*Anthem has been granted an Extension of Authorisation for Minor Use (EAMU 1259 of 2014) as a pre-emergence herbicide for use on Field and Broad beans at growers own risk.

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