Tackle bur chervil early to prevent yield loss

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Growers are being reminded of the challenge presented by bur chervil control and to act early for the best results.

Mat Hutchings at FMC explains that bur chervil can catch many growers and agronomists out as it can grow incredibly fast in the early spring, soon outcompeting a crop. 

“Bur chervil is a very big plant which can smother crops and outcompete them for nutrients, water, and space.” he says.

“If left uncontrolled, the weed can have a dramatic impact on yields, so growers need to stay aware of the risk and tackle the weed as soon as they can.”

For the most effective control Mr Hutchings advises that growers should apply a sulfonylurea (SU) herbicide early, when the weeds are small but actively growing. 

“Some growers will try and wait until T1 to spray, but this is often too late as bur chervil will be well developed by this stage,” he says. 

Good activity against bur chervil

“SU herbicides containing metsulfuron in mixture with tribenuron or thifensulfuron, such as Ally® Max SX® and Harmony® M SX®, have very good activity against bur chervil and can knock down the weed effectively when applied at the optimum rate and timing.” 

Mat Hutchings

If the weeds have become large then using an appropriate tank mix partner such as fluroxypyr or mecoprop, following proper spraying protocol, while maintaining a high rate of SU should achieve the best possible results.

“Don’t cut down the rate,” he warns. “With high input prices, it’s easy to turn to a reduced rate to cut costs, but to get on top of bur chervil growers need to use robust rates even when the weed is small and get it under control before it becomes a major issue.” 

“As part of the Apiaceae weed family, some growers find it difficult to distinguish bur chervil from other weeds, such as cow parsley. However, SU herbicides have activity against all weeds in this family. So even if you’re unsure which umbelliferous weed you have in your field, having an SU herbicide in the mix will help to control the weed,” concludes Mr Hutchings.  

For more information on SU herbicides visit https://fmc-agro.co.uk/

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